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Apple rolls out iOS 9.2.1 patch to fix iPhones bricked by 'Error 53'

Posted: , by Mihai A.

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Apple rolls out iOS 9.2.1 patch to fix iPhones bricked by 'Error 53'
Earlier today, Apple announced that it is rolling an update to iOS 9.2.1 that restores functionality to iPhones bricked due to "Error 53".

Earlier this month, reports revealed that some Apple iPhone users who've repaired their handset through third-party stores have had their devices bricked. In what followed, the issue was often referred to as "Error 53" after the error number displayed by bricked iPhones.

According to Apple, the error appears when a boot-time security checkup fails to recognize the Touch ID module. As per the official statement, the security check was actually designed to test the Touch ID module before a device is shipped out from Apple factories. 

The update is now available for download through iTunes on Mac or PC. Apple says that those who've updated their phones from iCloud shouldn't have ever seen the issue. As a side note, it remains to be seen how the patch will affect the class action suit that has been filed against Apple over the "Error 53" issue.

The company stresses that this measure was not designed to affect customers. Furthermore, those who've had to pay for an out-of-warranty replacement of their iPhone are advised to contact AppleCare to get their money back. 

Here is Apple's statement - issued to TechCrunch - in full:

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.

source: Apple via TechCrunch

51 Comments
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posted on 18 Feb 2016, 14:41 4

1. natypes (Posts: 1081; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


Look at Apple trying to win some public support lol.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 15:43 9

6. AlikMalix (Posts: 5095; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


I don't think Apple need to "win" public support - people love their iPhones, bro. I'm sure Apple intentions were to disable devices that had unoriginal parts, but even for a fanboy like me - that was a Wrong move and Apple is going to fix their mistake - cannot expect more.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 18:44 3

16. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11409; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


The haters will continue to hate with their one sided minds.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 19:24 9

18. NoToFanboys (Posts: 1135; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Like the way you hate LG.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 21:42 2

24. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


And Blackberry.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 10:17

46. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11409; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Well you can thank a condescending egotistical troll for that one.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 22:10 2

27. joey_sfb (Posts: 5362; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


And moto...

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 10:16

45. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11409; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I own a Moto X Pure.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 23:26 2

29. Norris (Posts: 121; Member since: 26 Jun 2015)


And every android.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 10:18

47. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11409; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Don't be a hypocrite.

posted on 20 Feb 2016, 05:26

51. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


No he doesn't. Give Mxzy credit where it's due.
He likes pure Android, no sin overlay on any Android phones.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 10:16

44. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11409; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


LG sucks as a phone maker.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 10:39

50. NoToFanboys (Posts: 1135; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Thanks for proving my point

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 00:01 2

30. xfire99 (Posts: 794; Member since: 14 Mar 2012)


At least better than brain deads without any own minds.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 03:47 1

33. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


We don't hate other brands, we pity the people who use them. Kinda like when you see a homeless guy in the street.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 05:15 1

37. darkkjedii (Posts: 19808; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Kinda stupid to pity someone for buying and using what they want/prefer. That was a bad analogy to be honest. The person you're showing pity to, might be 100% happy with his/her purchase.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 05:24 1

39. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


Do you not wish the best for them? Do you not ever think "awww that poor soul" Ah... maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm shallow lol... Oh well in other news life goes on :) and as long as they are happy then the world continues to spin too. That's the best part!

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 06:08 1

42. darkkjedii (Posts: 19808; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Homeless vs people enjoying the phone they bought...really dude?

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 10:19

48. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11409; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


like yourself right?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 19:38

20. bambamboogy02 (Posts: 509; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


How can you install this on an already bricked device? Lol.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 21:43

25. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


Hey that's a good point. But good to know there is an update to fix this.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 00:01 1

31. xfire99 (Posts: 794; Member since: 14 Mar 2012)


Read the article again?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 15:01 1

2. FuJitsu.nn (Posts: 6; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)


So what I'm wondering is if this is only a fix for phones that have been sent back to apple to get the touch ID button replaced.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 15:40 1

5. AlikMalix (Posts: 5095; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


The devices that were repaired by Apple or approved repair shops are not affected by error 53, it was only the shops that aren't approved by Apple that may have used parts that aren't original or used parts from broken devices.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 15:08

3. TheWeasel (Posts: 403; Member since: 26 Dec 2014)


I'm glad that the bricked iPhones can be restored with the last back up, but if I understand correctly, I'm sure many lost precious information that had not yet been backed up.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 15:35

4. AlikMalix (Posts: 5095; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


I assume that too. To me the info/photos on my phone is more important than the cost of a new device. That's why I have it backed up everyday, automatically when I walk thru my door (iOS can be backed up whe not used, automatically, daily, when it directs your home wifi connection).

Recommend everyone to set it up!!! Maybe PA can do a tutorial...

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 15:56 3

7. tedkord (Posts: 10299; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Sounds like they're doing the right thing on all counts. Good for them.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 16:02

8. LittleGaGaKiller (Posts: 281; Member since: 19 Jan 2015)


Bottom line : iPhone sucks. Nuff said...
(Sent from an Android-fanboy using a laggy smartphone with 500mb RAM left)

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 16:16 12

11. TheWeasel (Posts: 403; Member since: 26 Dec 2014)


Pathetic attempt. Do yourself a favor and don't try again.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 19:25 5

19. NoToFanboys (Posts: 1135; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


You are as good on trolling as Stephen Hawking is at break dancing.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 16:04 5

9. mrochester (Posts: 527; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


As per usual, the issue that was blown way out of proportion with all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories turns out to be a software blip that Apple have now fixed. When will people learn, and why do people jump to such crazy ridiculous theories when it comes to Apple?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 17:26 1

14. AlikMalix (Posts: 5095; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


No no no, Apple did that on purpose to "force" couple of hundred people to buy a new device, because there's no other way for Apple to get you to upgrade... No one is buying iPhones anymore... Oh wait...

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 21:30

23. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


Ha ha! Isn’t that funny? Mr. Green is more worried about making birth announcements on his Mac than getting his wife to the hospital when she’s in the middle of labor. I’ll bet she’s real glad she married that winner!

I get that their tying to hype up their “Geniuses” that they have at their stores to help you figure out how the hell to use that fancy new Apple product you spent three times what you should have on even though it’s as user friendly as you can get without it actually reading your mind to do what you want. But did they have to make the customer he’s helping look like such a moron?

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 01:45 3

32. AlikMalix (Posts: 5095; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


What? My wife..? What? You listen to me SOB... You can hate Apple, you can hate their devices. You can round up all the iPhones and burn em Ina big fire, I don't give a s**t. But if you think your sorry ass can hide behind a screen and talk s**t about my wife or myfamily in any way here - you have just lowered yourself to lower than an f**ken maggot on a decaying piece of s**t. Hold your damn tongue or someone will cut the thing off. You were irritating, but now you pissed me off.

Wow, the nerve this guy has.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 03:51 1

34. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


Ignore him bro... It's super tough to do so I know. But he's an idiot ;)

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 05:18 1

38. darkkjedii (Posts: 19808; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


That's all he's done since he joined the site, is try to bother people.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 03:59

35. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


I wasn't talking about you're wife, I was referring to other. You are not Mr Green Alix.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 04:24 1

36. tedkord (Posts: 10299; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


There's no call to talk about anyone's wife.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 18:45 1

17. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 11409; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Because they need something to troll about.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 21:29

22. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


For years Apple has hinted in subtle ways that they design their computers for the average person. I’ve often joked that their definition of average was “people who can’t tie their own shoes without drooling on themselves,” but my only evidence for that observation was their attempt to sell Macs with a single button mouse. The whole mouse was all one big button so you could flail at it wildly and still get it to do things.

That said, their ads have always suggested that you didn’t need to be a computer expert to use one of their computers, but for the most part they didn’t portray their customers as gibbering idiots with horribly misplaced priorities. Well, that’s all changed with their latest round of ads:

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 21:26

21. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


Because majority of them are dumbass idiots. Apple loves them dummies. Apple caters for them. But they failed to capture the smart ones which are the Android geeks and techs.

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 05:35

41. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


Remember DOS? Remember how intuitive it was at the time? Fast forward a bit, and take a look around, much has changed yes? You don't need to constantly use cmd prompt anymore do you? Know why? Technology is supposed to make your life easier, over time it requires you to do less, so you can achieve more. That's not going to stop. Tech will continue to become more intuitive until it requires little to no intervention from us to carry out our basic tasks. Is the guy living in that age an idiot?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 16:11 1

10. darkkjedii (Posts: 19808; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Right on Apple.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 16:34

12. nateatlarge (Posts: 18; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


I assume this update is 9.2.2?

with this are they going to update 9.3 public beta?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 16:56 2

13. oozz009 (Posts: 517; Member since: 22 Jun 2015)


And Apple chose the responsible path. That's always a good thing :)

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 18:43

15. PHYCLOPSH (Posts: 164; Member since: 28 Jun 2014)


It's called coerced compliance. Apple normally doesn't bend like this, yet only under the threat of an almost certain loss on legal precedent.. An evil business at it's worst.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 21:46

26. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


For fun I'm gonna try to set the date to 1970 on my wife's Ip5s, and see what happens....

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 23:07 3

28. AlikMalix (Posts: 5095; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


why dont you also slit your tires on your car and see what happens... or light your curtains just to see what happens, because when they tell you dont do it - it will burn the house down - they cannot possibly be right.

Dont set your iphone to 1970 because everyone knows what is going to happen - you call apple users idiot - what you're going to attempt is pure stupidity knowing what will happen... there's a patch coming soon. but hey it's your device... burn it for all i care...

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 05:29 1

40. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


HAHAHAHAHAHA Brilliant

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 07:06

43. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


Good point+1

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 10:29

49. Brewski (Posts: 317; Member since: 05 Jun 2012)


iPhoneArena, how is ^ this ^ story different than \/ this \/ one?

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-apologizes-and-pushes-iOS-update-that-fixes-Error-53-bricked-phones-Touch-ID-wont-work-though_id78489

You have reached saturation point with the apple stories...

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