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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,401
14,096



iPhone-6-Touch-ID-250x248.png
Apple today released an updated version of iOS 9.2.1, which is designed to prevent the "error 53" device-bricking message that some iOS users received after having their iPhones or iPads repaired by third-party services using components not sourced from the original device.

Non-matching repair components that affected the Touch ID fingerprint sensor caused an iOS device to fail a Touch ID validation check because the mismatched parts were unable to properly sync. The validation check occurred during an iOS update or restore, and when failed, Apple disabled the iPhone, effectively "bricking" it in an effort to protect Touch ID and the related Secure Enclave that stores customer fingerprint information.

Apple originally explained that error 53 was intentional, implemented as a way to prevent the use of a malicious Touch ID sensor that could be used to gain access to the Secure Enclave, but customers with bricked devices were not happy with the explanation and Apple found itself facing a class-action lawsuit.

Today's update will restore iPhones and iPads that have been disabled due to "error 53" to full working condition and it will ensure that future iOS devices that have had similar repairs will not be fully disabled. Touch ID will not, however, be accessible until Apple-authorized repairs are made to a device affected by the issue.

Alongside the new version of iOS 9.2.1, Apple has also published a support document outlining how customers can resolve the "error 53" problem, and it has issued an apology, shared by TechCrunch. Apple now says the error 53 bricking issue was meant to be a factory test and was never intended to affect customers.
"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."
The updated version of iOS 9.2.1 is available through iTunes and is not designed for customers who update their devices over the air. It can be downloaded on the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro.

Article Link: Apple Releases Updated Version of iOS 9.2.1 to Fix Devices Bricked by 'Error 53'
 

iTim314

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2005
329
3
U.S.
Huh. I just had one of my friends tell me about her ordeal over repairing her home button and an error 53. I hope she can get her money back.
[doublepost=1455819955][/doublepost]
not over the air update? omg whyyyyyy
Probably a more intricate firmware update that an external device has to perform. Just a guess.
 
Comment

MoodyM

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2008
778
24
Huh. I just had one of my friends tell me about her ordeal over repairing her home button and an error 53. I hope she can get her money back.
[doublepost=1455819955][/doublepost]
Probably a more intricate firmware update that an external device has to perform. Just a guess.

"The update is not for users who update their iPhones over the air (OTA) via iCloud. If you update your phone that way, you should never have encountered Error 53 in the first place"
 
Comment

BaldiMac

macrumors 604
Jan 24, 2008
7,411
8,592
Our long (three week) national nightmare is finally over. The few dozen people reported to have bricked phones can finally use them again. Yay freedom!

At least we can now focus on less important matters like the future of the country.
 
Comment

Merkie

macrumors 68020
Oct 23, 2008
2,109
682
"The update is not for users who update their iPhones over the air (OTA) via iCloud. If you update your phone that way, you should never have encountered Error 53 in the first place"
This is new information to me. Was this known earlier on? To me it wasn't. Makes the problem much less serious than how it first was reported.
 
Comment

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,942
3,496
Boston, MA
Wow. SO everyone proclaiming that this was a necessary safety implentation and that Apple shouldn't budge were utterly and completely wrong and this was either NOT working as intended or the public pressure put on Apple caused them to backpedal (I am guessing the former).
 
Comment

springsup

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2013
1,150
953
I feel they should still be running this check on every boot, not just when updating.

Otherwise you might get a 3rd-party to replace the sensor, they don't re-pair the components properly, and then some months later when you update TouchID suddenly stops working.

It would be better if it failed on first boot after the update, telling you that you need to re-pair in order to continue using TouchID.
 
Comment

Thunderhawks

Suspended
Feb 17, 2009
4,057
2,118
Our long (three week) national nightmare is finally over. The few dozen people reported to have bricked phones can finally use them again. Yay freedom!

At least we can now focus on less important matters like the future of the country.

The country is going to be (b)rigged
 
Comment
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