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Apple iPhone Error 53 fix: everything you need to know

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Includes a rare apology from Apple.
Apple store black and white

Apple has bowed to pressure and confirmed that it has issued a software update that will get iPhones affected by its infamous Error 53 working again.

The news comes after intense media pressure and the revelation that the company is now facing a lawsuit from disgruntled customers in the US who are seeking damages.

Have you been affected by this problem?

Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the iPhone Error 53 fix.

The background

Users who installed new software via iTunes after getting a third-party to replace a fault Touch ID button on their iPhone found that their device was rendered unusable, ‘bricked’ in tech parlance, by Apple.

This, essentially, was what all the fuss was about. Customers said Apple was damaging property that it didn’t own.

Apple said it was doing so to protect customer data and security.

An end to ‘bricked’ phones

iphone touch id

This latest update, which works via iTunes, means users who have found their iPhones useless can get them working again.

In a statement, Apple said: “Today, Apple released a software update that allows customers who have encountered this error message to successfully restore their device using iTunes on a Mac or PC.”

But it won’t bring your Touch ID back to life

Error 53 was based around faulty Touch ID buttons that were replaced by third parties.

Because Touch ID’s fingerprint encryption is unique to each user and set up on activation, Apple needs to verify each new home button in order to ensure third parties can’t access your credit card data.

That means that while iPhones hit by the error will work again, Touch ID security, and hence Apple Pay, won’t be functional.

Beware of third-party repair shops

apple store china

While Apple has fixed this issue, it appears to still be saying that cheaper third party repairs should be avoided, at least where Touch ID is concerned.

This is still likely to raise concerns among consumers who believe they can do as they please with a device they bought from Apple, but which the company does not own.

This is likely to be at the heart of the current legal case against Apple.

Apple has apologised, at least

In the same statement unveiling plans for a new update, Apple said: “We apologize [sic] for any inconvenience, this was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers.

"Customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement.”

It will be hoping that this mea culpa will help if that Class Action suit does eventually make it to court.

Category: Features
Tagged: iphone, apple

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