APPLE HAS RELEASED an update that will fix ‘Error 53′, an issue that causes iPhones to be rendered useless if the home button was replaced by a third-party.
The latest update to iOS, version 9.2.1, has been released to users and includes a fix for Error 53.
The update will restore those phones disabled by the error by connecting it to iTunes and updating it that way.
The issue, which emerged this month after a number of users found their phones to be bricked after updating iOS, was down to Apple’s Touch ID system, its fingerprint scanner which is also part of the home button.
If this were replaced by a third-party, a later iOS update would detect a foreign component and render it inoperable.
Alongside the fix, Apple posted an update explaining the reasoning behind the error.
If your iOS device has Touch ID, iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor matches your device’s other components during an update or restore. This check keeps your device and the iOS features related to Touch ID secure.
When iOS finds an unidentified or unexpected Touch ID module, the check fails. For example, an unauthorised or faulty screen replacements could cause the check to fail.
The company later told TechCrunch that it apologised for any inconvenience caused to customers saying it “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”.
Apple’s decision not to allow the FBI access to a gunman’s iPhone is gathering support as tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google have issued statements backing its decision.
A court order in the US has told Apple to create an update of its software that would allow easier access to an iPhone 5c. The iPhone in question belonged to one of the gunmen responsible for the San Bernardino shooting that killed 14 people.
In response to the decision, Apple published a letter explaining the reasoning behind its decision, saying that obeying the order would have “implications far beyond the legal case at hand”.
The decision has seen a number of tech companies back Apple. Facebook said that while it condemns terrorism and work with lawful requests, it will “continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems”.
These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.
WhatsApp’s CEO Jan Koum also offered his support saying “we must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set”.
The support extends beyond Facebook-owned companies. One of Apple’s biggest rivals also offered its support as Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said that allowing companies such access could set “a troubling precedent”, while Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey also tweeted his support, saying “we stand with Tim Cook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership)”.