Apple apologizes and pushes iOS update that fixes 'Error 53' bricked phones; Touch ID won't work, though


A few weeks ago, the first report about a fatal 'Error 53' crash that bricked the iPhones of many people surfaced. It did not seem right: iPhones that were serviced at third-party centers got the message after they were updated to a newer version of iOS via iTunes.

The problem stemmed from the fact that repair shops had been replacing a connector between the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the home button itself. This was often carried out as a standard replacement when iPhones with faulty home buttons were brought in.

Today, Apple has finally addressed the issue with an update to iOS 9.2.1. The new update will fix the problem for users who have updated their iPhone via iTunes, and encountered the dreadful 'Error 53' message (it's worth noting that those who updated their phones over the air should have never seen that error in the first place).

Apple has posted a new support page for the issue and has explained what it has done with the update with a message to the media:


It's important to highlight that this was an error on Apple's part that the company is publicly apologizing for.

You should know that while this update will make your iPhone functional again (it will no longer be bricked), it WON'T re-enable Touch ID.

And that's a reasonable and well thought out move. Allowing a third-party fingerprint sensor that is not checked to be secure would be a big security risk that would allow breaking the privacy of your iPhone.

If you want to get your full Touch ID functionality back, you will need to go to an authorized Apple repair shop to get it replaced.

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36 Comments

23. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 657; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

This is not about security. It's about money and guaranteeing that Apple makes more of it as the sole repair center for this touch ID hardware. Certainly if this was a real security issue TSMC themselves would not be permitted to manufacture the part as Apple would have to do this in-house, which they don't.

31. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

and what even more funny is the touch id hardware used by most third party place come exactly from the same place ( TSMC ) as the one inside the original.

34. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

obviously its OEM parts from original manufacturer.. its not like other manufacturer can make that part, and make it work with iPhone.. Apple just being greedy -_-

36. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

A shame that Steve isn't alive to see he's billions, lmfao. Even money couldn't help him to survive. Greedy pos.

37. AlikMalix unregistered

Steve never cared about money - he only cared to build something that's different - and he has in my opinion, and many agree.

21. Topcat488

Posts: 1424; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

Nelson called from Springfield IL, and said "Haw Haw"!

13. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

To that guys saying apple was doing this on purpose, Ha I was right it was a problem with security.

12. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Funny, that's what I was saying they should've done when all of this started.

10. Talhamid

Posts: 61; Member since: Jun 13, 2009

Wow. We are apple. We brick your phone with an update. Then we push out another update that will leave the phone functional but crippled. Another glorious F u to the customers. Yet they still love us.

11. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

What magic has Apple done that people still love them,?

18. Iodine

Posts: 1518; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

The same they done that makes the rest hate: great products.

35. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Bs, great products. Half-baked and old tech and limited. Apple is not a technology, but showing off brand. You can't bloody upgrade anything on their laptop, but will need to pay higher price. Wtf Bs.

30. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Manipulation. Paying money to the right ppl ( review and tech website ) lots of marketing. bit of lies. And making a not bad product even if very overpriced.

20. Iodine

Posts: 1518; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Might be a blow to some but in the end it's the result of uncompromizing security of touch ID, which benefits hunderds of millions of consumers. And Apple never said their phone is supposed to work with any kind of 3rd-party replacement.

7. davthom123

Posts: 121; Member since: Mar 02, 2015

good move by apple especially customers in countries like mine where there are no apple care centres

4. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Good thing there was such a huge public backlash otherwise they'd likely never fix this issue. This is what happens when consumers demand better products and services instead of just making excuses for getting shafted.

2. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Awesome! Only took a lawsuit for them to listen...wonder what Mxy...whatever would change his BS security excuses to now.

19. Iodine

Posts: 1518; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

They said they would fix it anyway in their official statement.

33. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

but their unbacked data still gone, forever... (and they need to throw money to replace those touchID, lol)

1. Jimrod

Posts: 1607; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

A fair response, Apple will get stick regardless but I don't see many other manufacturers respond to issues as quickly.

3. Carbo

Posts: 42; Member since: Aug 07, 2015

Maybe because other manufacturers don't brick your phone with an update.

5. Zylam

Posts: 1826; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Ms updates have bricked dozens of Windows phones.

8. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Don't think it was done intentionally

9. Piyath_ale

Posts: 79; Member since: Nov 02, 2015

Sorry, that's not the reason. Apple responds quickly because they care about there customers more than any other company in the world and their tech team is way more capable and talented than any one else's Don't be a joke here.. Please!!!

17. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

They may have got you back in the phone, but the phone is still broken and apple needs to fix that by replacing the touch ID too. I would feel a little different if apple had informed buyers that no one but apple can fix their phone or an apple repair shop , but they didn't.

26. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Piyath you are the joke. Apple care about money and money alone. If this would not be adressed quickly next iphone to be launched ( 5SE and 7 ) would had ended with lots of sales losts. So they acted to fix it before its hurt them where its count ( money!!!) I hate Apple lover because of this they could get a big Apple **** in the *** and say its because Apple love them.

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Lollipop aka the black sheep of Android upfatesupdates

27. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

What the point of this comment?

32. meanestgenius

Posts: 23049; Member since: May 28, 2014

To troll. Nothing more.

6. MSi_GS70 unregistered

First of all disgusting Apple are lying when error pops up ! in their sentence ; ''an unknown error occured'' They LYING that error is unknown !!! They PERFECTLY KNOW what is going on ! Lying disgraceful ppl in there !!! Only naive ppl believe and trust this company!!

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