Apple Inc., the manufacturers of iPhone and iPad, have landed in a new controversy because many owners have been complaining about something called the Error 53. This issue has occurred in the devices that has the built-in Touch ID security feature. This article is a must-read if you especially own the current generation of iPhone or iPad.
Understanding Error 53
The Error 53 occurs when trying to upgrade your iPhone to iOS 9 (this is mostly an iPhone issue and will discuss about the iPad issue later on). Upgrading comprises connecting the device to a PC or a Mac, loading the iTunes software and starting the upgrade installation. However, behind the scenes what your Apple device is doing is a check on whether all of your hardware, especially your Touch ID module is alright or not. If your device thinks that there is something fishy during the check, then the installation will be aborted with an error message followed by the error code which is 53, hence the name of this notorious problem. When that happens you cannot revert back to your previous OS just like that. Not only that, tech reports also mention that due to ‘security reasons’ of your data, the device wipes off all the data, be it documents, songs, pictures of your loved ones, with no facility to back it up, unless you already did so.
Why Error 53 happens
So the next question that arises is that what will cause the device to fail this check? The reason is if you have made any unauthorised repairs of your phone, i.e., repairing from a local shop which is not Apple certified. Many people in the past have opted to go to local stores because it is many times cheaper than giving it to an Apple certified workshop and users have mentioned that the buttons become flimsy after about 6 months. Not only that, there are certain places around the world where the nearest store is a 6 hour flight! Due to this reason, many tech experts think that Apple is trying to monopolize so that only they get the due money. However, with so many Apple users around the world and significantly very few Apple repair shops, many of these shops have flourished and now have to pay the price when they try to upgrade to iOS 9.
And the worst part? There is no warning of some sorts about having to have original parts before the upgrade is done, which under failure will cause this block and also wipe your data. Not only that, Apple will pay no heed for bricked devices that no longer have a warranty, except if you have an extended warranty from AppleCare. And of course, they can’t help you to retrieve data because it has already been wiped clean from your device. A certain news journalist’s iPhone has been replaced because it had got an Error 53 in spite of no repairs. However, it can also be that the warranty was still there. Still a brand new device will not replace lost data if someone has failed to back it up.
Devices with Error 53 issues
Now the affected phones are mostly iPhone 6 and 6 Plus due to the Touch ID module that detects for any unknown device modules. Apple claims that it is a security feature implemented in iOS 9 that prevents the installation of malicious hardware that can potentially disrupt the device. No reports have been sprung up about the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. However, iPads with Touch ID that have undergone screen repairs also have the save issue, but strangely even though the 5S has Touch ID, Error 53 has not happened.
What you should do
If you own any one of the above devices, and you sent it for a local repair, AVOID installing the iOS 9 upgrade. This most definitely will brick your phone/tablet and legitimate hardwares are only available at an Apple workshop. Also we request to do a backup of your phone to iCloud and other non-Apple cloud storage should in case an Error 53 may pop up. Even so, do not upgrade your device if your warranty has become void and you are paranoid about it, until the issue has been dealt with by Apple.