‘Error 53’ killing repaired iPhones
Owners of iPhones in Iraq are being warned against downloading the latest operating system update as it might ‘brick’ the technology. A smartphone is considered a ‘brick’ when it is broken to the extent that it no longer works.
The iPhone 6 has fingerprint ID technology built in to its home button. If it has been repaired by a ‘non-official’ service centre, it will kill the phone – there are very few Apple centres in Iraq, but thousands of stores that can repair broken iPhones. The problem only becomes apparent when the new iOS 9 operating system is downloaded. Users are presented with an ‘error 53’ message, and discover that all photos and data on the phone are lost – permanently.
Yalla spoke to one of just two authorised iPhone service centres listed as being in Iraq on Apple’s official website. iCenter on the Ankawa Road in Erbil confirmed that ‘error 53’ is a problem, but couldn’t say if anyone had been into the store with the problem. Users with a valid Middle East warranty will have handsets replaced if they visit this or the other store, details of which are here.
There is no way to repair this problem, so users with handsets that have had repairs carried out by ‘non-official’ outlets are advised not to download iOS 9. There have even been reports of handsets being bricked with ‘error 53’ even without having undergone repairs.
Apple says the measure is protect users’ data in the event of theft, but a commenter on the Boing Boing blog said, “If they included a warning in the package ‘tamper resistance’ feature that works by non-Apple-authorised repair services may be mistaken for tampering attempts, and lead to the phone being disabled’, then it would be purely a feature … By concealing the feature prior to sales, and only even revealing it after being repeatedly pressured over it, Apple turned what could have been a feature into a landmine.”
There are several videos on YouTube suggesting solutions to the problem, but Yalla has been unable to verify if they work.
Have you had an ‘error 53’ on your iPhone? Contact Yalla at firstname.lastname@example.org