Some iPhone users recently encountered a very worrying message which disabled their handset. The ‘Error 53’ code occurs when an unofficial repair shop replaces the connector between the Touch ID sensor and iPhone home button. Usually, it’s quite easy to acquire a replacement handset from Apple if any problems arise. Although, this depends if the phone is within the warranty period and the store might ask for a proof of purchase. In these situations, customers have to resort to repair shops who charge a fee for their services. As you can imagine, this error code caused a great deal of panic and anger among loyal Apple customers.
Thankfully, Apple has released an updated version of iOS 9.2.1 but you can only find this version via iTunes. This will restore the functionality of any iPhone rendered useless by the ‘Error 53’ code. In a statement, Apple said that the
“…error 53 occurs when a device fails a standard security test designed to ensure that the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is working correctly.”
The company also added:
“We apologise 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.”
Mobile analyst Ben Wood at CCS Insight provided an insight into the reasons why Apple enforced such as strict security measure:
“To me, there was a lot of logic in what they said around the ‘error 53’ element,”
“If you’re using your fingerprint to unlock sensitive data or make payments and there was the ability for someone to replace the screen and modify the module to take control of your phone – that’s not a good thing at all.”
This makes sense because cyber-criminals might alter the sensor to find any personal information on a stolen handset. Given the amount of online banking and wireless payments, it seems like a logical idea. On the other hand, Apple has a reputation for restricting their devices and trying to keep total control.