iOS ‘Error 53’ Disables iPhones With Third Party Touch ID Repairs For ‘Security’
iPhone users report Error 53 messages that leave their device useless. Apple says the Touch ID checks are to protect customers
An update to iOS is disabling iPhones that have had a replacement TouchID sensor installed by third party, rendering them completely useless.
Thousands of iPhone owners are believed to have suffered from an ‘Error 53’ message after installing an iOS upgrade and there is no known way of restoring functionality.
Apple has confirmed iOS checks for non-standard components and says it is necessary to protect the security of customers. However the company is coming in for criticism for not advertising the fact that unofficial repairs could result in an expensive, non-usable brick.
Because this could be seen as a breach of terms and conditions, owners might have to fork out for a replacement device.
“We take customer security very seriously and Error 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers,” an Apple spokesperson told TechWeekEurope. “iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor in your iPhone or iPad correctly matches your device’s other components.
“If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support.”
Touch ID was first included in the iPhone 5S back in 2013 and has since become an integral security feature of subsequent models as well as the iPad. The fingerprint sensor allows the owner of a smartphone or tablet to unlock their device without the need to enter a passcode.
Third party applications, such as Box and Natwest, also make use of TouchID.
However from almost the moment the feature was announced, hackers turned their attention to cracking the feature, while a botched update in 2014 accidentally disabled Touch ID altogether.