Users Facing 'Error 53' Bricking Message After Third-Party iPhone 6 Home Button Repairs

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Some iPhone 6 users who had their smartphones repaired by third-party technicians are reporting that a mysterious "error 53" message is permanently bricking their iPhones (via The Guardian). Users who have had Touch ID on their iPhone 6 fixed by a non-Apple technician, and agreed to update the iPhone to the most recent version of iOS, are facing an issue which essentially prevents all access to the iPhone.

    Freelance photographer Antonio Olmos is one such affected iPhone 6 user who had his iPhone repaired in Macedonia while working. He said "it worked perfectly" after the repair shop finished fixing the broken screen and home button, but once he updated to iOS 9 he got an "error 53" message and could no longer access any of his personal content on the iPhone. An Apple Store in London was shown the issue, and staff there admitted there was nothing they could do for him besides sell him a new iPhone.

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    Speaking with The Guardian, iFixit's Kyle Wiens said that the issue, while still unclear, appears to be Apple ensuring only genuine components are being used for repairs. Once a third party changes the home button or internal cable, the iPhone checks to be sure that all original components are running the phone, and if there are any discrepancies users face the "error 53" message and can't access their data. Since mentions of "error 53" span a few versions of iOS, it's unclear specifically which software update began the phone-locking error message.

    An Apple spokeswoman commented on the issue, referring to protective security features intended to prevent "malicious" third-party components from potentially compromising a user's iPhone as the main reason for the "error 53" message.
    Other than that, Apple hasn't commented on the issue or outlined exactly what the company can do for those affected by the iPhone bricking error message. Mentions of "error 53" have been around since at least last April, where some users have encountered the issue in software updates as early as iOS 8.3.

    Article Link: Users Facing 'Error 53' Bricking Message After Third-Party iPhone 6 Home Button Repairs
     
  2. naeS1Sean macrumors 6502a

    naeS1Sean

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  3. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    I was literally just trying to find the link to send stories to MR, i was surprised to no see it already on the front page.

    Its all over the media in the UK.
     
  4. vmachiel macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Well, at least we know they are serious about that fingerprint data.
     
  5. cmChimera macrumors 68040

    cmChimera

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    This is actually a good thing. However, people will still be mad.
     
  6. JonneyGee macrumors 6502

    JonneyGee

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    #6
    While I understand the vitriol against Apple for this error, it makes sense from a security standpoint. Hopefully, having an authorized Apple repair center replace the home button with a legitimate one can restore a phone giving this error.
     
  7. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Why?

    If my iPhone is out of warranty, then I should be able to have it repaired by who ever I want.

    I can see why it might be a good thing to avoid circumventing the security on stolen phones, but from a user standpoint who wants a repair, apple repairs aren't exactly the cheapest, or in the UK and other countries where apple stores are only in big cities, its a pain in the rear not being able to take it to a local phone shop.
     
  8. lunarworks macrumors 6502

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    Inconvenient, but makes sense. You're dealing with an advanced security feature, not just a simple clicky button.
     
  9. LovingTeddy macrumors 6502a

    LovingTeddy

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    It is Apple's way to get more money from Apple fans. Make the home button that break easily and charge them ridiculous amount of money to fix it.

    Any thing that make Apple gets more money is banned and brick the phone. LOL
     
  10. cmChimera macrumors 68040

    cmChimera

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    You understand the security risks though? If someone could just install hacked touch ID sensors, then your data could be compromised. Apple has a responsibility to prevent scenarios like that.

    And you don't have to get it fixed by Apple per se, but they probably need to be an authorized repair center. Otherwise what's to stop cheap repair shops from putting in Chinese knockoff TouchID sensors and putting your security and or personal information at risk?
     
  11. sualpine macrumors 6502

    sualpine

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    Apple has zero responsibility to allow or consider non- Apple parts being put into their product.
     
  12. RedOrchestra macrumors 68020

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    Reading the article, doesn't sound possible, or Apple's fudging:

    http://www.theguardian.com/money/20...e-update-handset-worthless-third-party-repair
     
  13. MacDarcy macrumors 6502a

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  14. napabar macrumors regular

    napabar

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    Wrong! Not when it involves the fingerprint scanner and it's attachment to the secure enclave. Without this security, anyone could hack an iPhone by replacing the sensor. Think!
     
  15. clickerman, Feb 5, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2016

    clickerman macrumors member

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    #15
    This is Apple telling us not to venture out of their ecosystem. In this case, if you try it your phone will be bricked. Imagine if you had to use genuine GM parts to repair your car or else your care is bricked. This scares the **** out of me.
     
  16. just.in.time macrumors member

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    #16
    This is a good thing. At least we know Apple is doing their best to keep the TouchID system as secure as possible. It's not Apple's responsibility to inform customers of a repair center that they could end up with a bricked phone. That responsibility falls on the shoulders of the third party shops.

    Apple occasionally does questionable things in attempting to get people to upgrade. However, I don't believe this is one of those times.
     
  17. bdkennedy1 macrumors 65816

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    If the Home button is linked to the encryption chip inside the iPhone, well...
     
  18. PowerBook-G5 macrumors 65816

    PowerBook-G5

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    Louis Rossman uploaded a video about this a while ago. Not saying that his reasoning is correct, but the issue has been around for a while.
     
  19. sualpine macrumors 6502

    sualpine

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    Yes, you are able to. And accept the consequences.
     
  20. GadgetBen macrumors 6502

    GadgetBen

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    #20
    When you have your entire wallet and personal data guarded by a fingerprint sensor that could be compromised by third party parts from China, people shouldn't complain. All because they wanted to get dodgy dave down the market to fit a new part for a tenner.
     
  21. LovingTeddy macrumors 6502a

    LovingTeddy

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    #21
    I am sure if I replace figureprint sensor on Nexus 6P, I will not brick that phone.

    Admit it, Apple just want your money
     
  22. jamesnajera macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I think Apple should have a pop up message informing the user of the potential hardware security issue. This would be a pop up that could happen daily without the ability to be disabled (basically some type of awareness message informing the user of the risk they are operating with). The point that Apple makes regarding security is completely valid, but disabling the iPhone is probably to harsh for the general public. This is great for the phone when being used in a government or enterprise business environment, but those types of businesses can write off a phone and buy a new one when a phone breaks.
     
  23. just.in.time macrumors member

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    #23
    Don't be silly. This involves the security of the TouchID system. This helps ensure it hasn't been compromised. Now if this same error was being applied to a battery replacement, I could see the validity of your statement. But as such, I have to disagree with you.
     
  24. cmChimera macrumors 68040

    cmChimera

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    Possibly not, and then if the repair shop used a cheap knockoff part, your security and/or personal data is now at risk.
     
  25. npmacuser5 macrumors 6502

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    Why I buy Apple. Keep protecting the product.
     

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