Reports are coming in of an ‘error 53’ which will strike fear into the hearts of Apple gadget owners. Not only can it wipe your iPhone, it will effectively turn it into an unusable brick, and it is triggered by updating to the latest iOS.
The not-so-ominous-sounding ‘error 53’ has affected people updating their phones, but an air of mystery and intrigue surrounds the error, made all the worse by the fact Apple’s website and help support has very little to offer by way of information, or promises to fix, and a trip to the Apple store seems to only get devices shipped off back to Apple HQ and a replacement issued.
Of course, a replacement isn’t totally helpful when you’ve lost your photos and other digital content that you had stored on your phone.
Rumours say that the error is linked to the Touch ID function of the newer devices (iPhone 5S onwards, as well as the later iPad models) and that getting the screen or home button fixed by a non-Apple outlet, then updating, will trigger it.
It is thought that the error is linked to the way in which the Touch ID hardware is unique to each device, and that altering it or changing it can cause a software malfunction within the device.
One photographer who works for the Guardian, told the newspaper how it happened to him. “I was in the Balkans covering the refugee crisis in September when I dropped my phone,” reported Antonio Olmos. “Because I desperately needed it for work I got it fixed at a local shop, as there are no Apple stores in Macedonia. They repaired the screen and home button, and it worked perfectly.”
He afterwards installed an update, causing error 53 to occur, and ruined his phone. Olmos added: “How can a company deliberately make their own products useless with an upgrade and not warn their own customers about it?” He clearly is of the view, shared by some others, that Apple are deliberately putting pressure on third party fixers, giving people more of a reason to come to them direct for fixes.
Whether this is true or not, there is still a risk that comes with updating your iPhone. You should make sure to back up all precious content before you try to update, especially if your device has been damaged and repaired in the past.