Back in February 2016, several Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus owners saw their handset bricked after they attempted to install iOS 9.2.1. At the same time, users were receiving "error 53" messages. As it turned out, all of these iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units had problems with the Touch ID module and were repaired by unauthorized third party repair shops. The error 53 messages were the result of certain sensors in Touch ID used by Apple, not matching up with the parts used by the unauthorized repair shops.
Apple recently was sued by an Australian regulatory agency for not allowing iPhone users in the country to have the Touch ID module fixed by the repair shop of their choice. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed the suit, accusing Apple of disabling hundreds of Apple iPhone and Apple iPad units because they were repaired by third party repair shops.
Despite the criticism and law suits (a class action suit filed in the U.S. by iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus users was tossed out by a judge), Apple has continued to arrange for Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus users to have their handsets disabled if a third party repair shop works on the Touch ID button. If it needs to be replaced, the new button must be recalibrated at the Apple Store. Unlike the Touch ID buttons on past models, the button on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is a "solid state" part and is not mechanical.
Naysayers will call this an example of Apple's desire to capture every penny spent by a consumer on his/her iPhone. Apple will say that this is an attempt to make sure that every iPhone is repaired properly by someone certified by the company.
You can see for yourself that the new TouchID modules can't be replaced without a trip to the Apple Store, by clicking on the video at the top of this story.