Apple is apologizing and offering a fix for iPhones bricked by the mysterious Error 53. TechCrunch was the first to report the news.
Starting today, Apple is issuing an updated version of the latest iOS software – 9.2.1. Anyone affected by Error 53 can update their iPhones via iTunes. It will restore phones with that issue and prevent iPhones in the future that have their home button or cable replaced by a non-authorized center from suffering the same error. Anyone who updates their iPhone over-the-air should have never encountered the issue in the first place.
Here’s the complete Apple statement released to the site:
“Some customers’ devices are showing ‘Connect to iTunes’ after attempting an iOS update or a restore from iTunes on a Mac or PC. This reports as an Error 53 in iTunes and appears when a device fails a security test. This test was designed to check whether Touch ID works properly before the device leaves the factory.
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.
We apologize 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.”
Just to note, while the software will restore the phone to working condition, the iPhone’s Touch ID sensor will not be functional.
The issue was first widely reported in early February. It was apparently caused by anyone who had their Touch ID sensor replaced by a third-party repair center.
I’m glad to see Apple officially acknowledge the issue and offer the software fix. While I completely understand that Apple wants to keep the Touch ID sensor and biometric information secure, having the part repaired shouldn’t have ever rendered a phone completely useless. Simply disabling the Touch ID sensor is a much better move.
For other recent news, see: Preview videos are coming to the Apple TV’s App Store, Get DVD and streaming details with Movies by Moviefone, and Should Apple fight a court order to hack into an iPhone 5c?