iOS 9 Bricks Phones And Tablets Repaired By Third-party Shops


Don’t update if you’ve had your phone repaired by someone that’s not Apple

You can file this into the “thank god I use Android” column: the Guardian is reporting that users have bricked their iPhones right after upgrading to iOS 9. Apparently the problem has been traced to a security measure implemented by apple via Error 53. The idea is that a device is rendered inoperable if the phone detects that the TouchID module which is housed in the home key has been replaced by a non-Apple compliant part to prevent data theft and loss. Unfortunately, if you’ve had your iPhone repaired through a third party that did not use official Apple parts, your phone will be bricked and affected by Error 53 when you update to iOS 9.

The problem isn’t just affecting people who replaced TouchID modules – even people who have gone in for screen replacement in third party shops have been hit by the issue as well. Once Error 53 hits your phone, they only way to fix it is to send it to Apple, and there’s no guarantee that your phone’s data will be recovered if you do get your phone fixed by them. Also, you’ll have to pay for the repairs yourself too, so there’s that.


John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.


  1. They need more money. Alphabet just surpassed them as the world’s most valuable company. The Millennials can no longer afford the most expensive China phone ever. Lelz

  2. When will people stop giving this disgusting company their money. Everything they do is to trap you to buy more of their products and services. A company with a 15%share of the smartphone market, but which takes 95 % of the profits proves their greed. They can do this as most of their customers, would never try a superior alternative. Wake up!

  3. Since touch ID is integrated into Apple Pay and these components are directly tied to the touchscreen, I can understand the security of blocking access to the phone. If all someone had to do was replace the home button to access your stored credit card data on a stolen phone there would be an even bigger outcry.

    The only thing I suggest is a more out there notification that third party products would have this affect. On the other hand, where are the techs responsibilities here. Did people know they were using non apples certified replacement parts?

    If I use a Nissan transmission in my Honda, would it be fair to blame Honda?

    For those who claim these are regions that Apple does not operate, authorized resellers have access to the proper replacement parts. Is this just a matter of the customer being told ‘It works the same, just cheaper’.

    Just about every guide I have states to use Apple parts in my devices and to only have them repaired at Authorized Service Providers or Apple. I follow this advice for the same reason that I have my car serviced at the dealership: I invested too much money to have Bob the shade tree mechanic do the maintenance.

    Just my 5 cents (adjusted for inflation)

    1. eh di sana yung Touch ID lang at yung mga features na nangangailangan ng Touch ID ang i-disable sa halip na buong phone ang i-bibrick. pwede naman yata nilang gawin yun at magfallback na lang sa pin password which was always there in the first place. besides, pin password is still more secure than fingerprint.

      ang nakakagalit eh yung sabihan ka ng Apple na wala silang magagawa doon. sino ba niloloko nila? eh di ba nga hindi naman lumabas yung error 53 before. lumabas lang siya ng mag update ng OS, tapos sasabihin nilang wala silang pwedeng gawin kahit magbabayad ang customer sa kanila?

      at anong klaseng kalokohang disenyo ba yang ginawa ng Apple na pagbabayarin ka ng $300 sa isang madaling masirang home button.

      it’s all but one big bullshit from Apple.

      1. Not quite sure of most of you content here but the bottom line is that counterfeit parts brick your phone. But of course Apple is to blame not the tech that didn’t mention that the part was counterfeit or the people who designed the part without proper authority

        1. Apple does it because it isn’t legal in a sense, since there is no law preventing companies from screwing over people who use third party parts, but let’s not forget that this move still screws people. well that’s what you get by buying apple

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