[dropcap]I[/dropcap]Phone owners could be left with completely broken phones by a mysterious error that renders the handsets unusable.
Users across the internet are complaining that their iPhones have fallen victim to “Error 53”, which shows up on the phone’s screen and prevents it from doing anything else. There appears to be no way of getting rid of the problem, short of getting a whole new handset.
The error appears to happen when the phone detects that it has been repaired by a third-party. If unofficial parts are put into the phone, it will detect it and then shut the phone down entirely, according to reports.
The issue appears to be limited to Apple’s most recent major software update, iOS 9. But it works retroactively, so that phones that have been repaired in the past could break as soon as they are updated to the new operating system.
The problems have been occurring since that update was pushed out late last year, it seems.
‘Error 53’ is related to repairing the home button, which also includes the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The problems appear to occur because Apple wants to ensure that the hardware which is used to get access to everything on the phone as well as to make payments stays safe.
“If the problem occurs, Apple suggests making sure that the phone is plugged in to the latest version of iTunes. If that doesn’t fix the phone, then users should force restart it by holding down both the sleep button and the home button until it reboots. Then users should try again to restore it through iTunes.
If none of those solutions work, Apple recommends that users go to an Apple Store or another authorised service centre. The company will be able to fix the problem if the parts were installed through an official repairs service, and will be able to provide pricing information about having the phone repaired.