Although TouchID has allowed iPhone users to both unlock their phone, purchase things in the App Store, and if you have Apple Pay, purchase physical goods. But with the addition of such a feature, Apple has had to ramp up security to prevent unlawful purchases. Because of this however, some users who have had to use third party services to repair their iPhones, have found that they do more damage than good.
It’s called Error 53 and those who find this error essentially end up with a bricked phone. Although the error has been around for some time, it’s recently made the headlines following the same Error happening to The Guardian journalist Antonio Olmo, who had no choice but to turn to a third party to repair his damaged iPhone while covering the refugee crisis.
Once repaired, all seemed well, that was until an update was pushed out by Apple and boom, Error 53. After finally managing to get his phone to an Apple Store, staff told him that he’d need a replacement phone, which he’d have to pay for out of pocket. The update had effectively bricked his phone.
The reason for this is due to how TouchID pairs itself with the phone’s internal Secure Enclave chip. Each iPhone has a unique pairing between the fingerprint sensor and the chip as a way to prevent this information being taken from the device. If a repair requires the TouchID sensor to be replaced, then it’s almost 100 per cent likely you’ll end up with Error 53 once an update is pushed out to the phone.
Interestingly, a number of devices which have had simple repairs, such as a replacement screen, have also failed at the hands of Error 53, which seems odd. According to Apple however, it may be because of a faulty screen which caused these security checks to fail.
The simple fact of the matter is, now the iPhone is becoming increasingly complicated in terms of features as well as the complications of repairing the device, DIY kits and third party repair services will do more harm than good. Just bite the bullet and take it into the Apple Store.