Heads up, all iPhone users.
If you ever happened to drop your phone or damage it in any way, be careful who you approach to in order to repair it. Apparently people started noticing thousands of iPhones all over the world disabled permanently because of an error which is being called as “Error 53”, and the sad part is, if your phone displays that error to you, there is no way that it is going to work normally again,ever.
Why this “error 53” occurs in iPhone? Well, if you have had repaired your device (especially the home button part where the touch ID finger print recognition embedded in) by a person who doesn’t belong to Apple officially, you would end up getting it. Apparently, the phone is able to “detect” that the repair has been conducted by a “non-official-apple” technician, and throw an error on your face there by making your phone dead. That means, this issue isn’t applicable to not all iPhones, but for those which having iOS 9 installed. You phone will be dead and all your data including phones, videos etc would be erased permanently.
According to the guardian, the issue has been reported by many people, one of which –
Freelance photographer and self-confessed Apple addict Antonio Olmos says this happened to his phone a few weeks ago after he upgraded his software. Olmos had previously had his handset repaired while on an assignment for the Guardian in Macedonia. “I was in the Balkans covering the refugee crisis in September when I dropped my phone. Because I desperately needed it for work I got it fixed at a local shop, as there are no Apple stores in Macedonia. They repaired the screen and home button, and it worked perfectly.
He says he thought no more about it, until he was sent the standard notification by Apple inviting him to install the latest software. He accepted the upgrade, but within seconds the phone was displaying error 53 and was, in effect, dead.
When Olmos, who says he has spent thousands of pounds on Apple products over the years, took it to an Apple store in London, staff told him there was nothing they could do, and that his phone was now junk. He had to pay £270 for a replacement and is furious.
[ Antonio Olmos, Image Source: the guardian]
Not only him, there are many victims to this error who lost their expensive device because of this.
So, if you have iPhone 6 and want to repair it in local store or you’ve already repaired your device by a third party and willing to upgrade to iOS 9, you need to be careful. Why apple doing so? Well, the single world answer is security concerns. According to the same report, a spokeswoman from Apple told Money that –
We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave, which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor. When iPhone is serviced by an authorised Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the touch ID sensor, the pairing is re-validated. This check ensures the device and the iOS features related to touch ID remain secure. Without this unique pairing, a malicious touch ID sensor could be substituted, thereby gaining access to the secure enclave. When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure.
When an iPhone is serviced by an unauthorised repair provider, faulty screens or other invalid components that affect the touch ID sensor could cause the check to fail if the pairing cannot be validated. With a subsequent update or restore, additional security checks result in an ‘error 53’ being displayed … If a customer encounters an unrecoverable error 53, we recommend contacting Apple support.
Which means Apple isn’t willing to let the device touched by any non-authenticated person. If you have happened to get this error then here is what you should do – First,try plugging your device to latest version of iTunes (if it isn’t already). If that doesn’t work, then try force restarting your device by pressing both sleep button and home buttons together. If you are out of luck and that doesn’t work for you either, then there is nothing left but contacting an authorized apple store.
Especially this issue is troublesome in India because it is not possible to find an Apple store nearby to save a mobile device which costs more than half lakh.