Apple disables iPhones with third party repairs

  • By Raj Sandhu

 

Apple disables iPhones if it detects any repairs not carried out by Apple

The latest software update for the 6th generation iPhone handset range is allegedly rendering the devices useless if it detects repairs not carried out by Apple in a forced malfunction known as “error 53” and has appeared in other Apple products previously.

Users have reported that their iPhones were disabled after the screen or Touch ID/home button was repaired by a non-Apple certified engineer.

The issue appears to arise once devices have been updated to the latest operating system, iOS 9.

In a related report, the Guardian cites the experiences of a freelance photographer, Antonio Olmos, who says the problem occurred on his phone after he upgraded its software.

“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.”

Many customers using the iPhone 6 range have been discussing the dreaded error 53 online.

At Apple’s discussion forums, one user named wallihall wrote: “With this update I’m unable to use the phone, and still have to pay for the phone itself. I did get the front screen replaced, and I understand that it’s now considered “tampered with”, but at least let me use my iPhone on the old IOS system… I can’t retrieve old photos or important documents I once had.”

Apple responded stating that the software checks whether any repairs were authorised by Apple. An Apple spokeswoman said: “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.”

Apple has advised users facing the problem to contact Apple support.

Many die hard Apple fans are seeing the already closed ecosystem shrink in even further. With a greater dependency on Apple for software, compatible hardware and repairs the technology giant has great leverage when it comes to charging non-competitive price premiums.

The International replaced many Apple products in 2014 over compatibility issues with other technology ecosystems.


R.Sandhu@theinternational.org.uk