Apple apologizes for Error 53, restores bricked phones

Believe it or not, once an iPhone is bricked, it isn't necessarily dead forever. Earlier this month we came into the understanding – like many iPhone users in the wild – that Apple had built in a so-called "Error 53" into their iPhones with Touch ID sensors. If the devices had been tampered with – fixed by 3rd party fix-it groups, included – they'd be bricked. Now Apple has apologized publicly for the method with which they'd implemented said feature.

Now Apple has apologized. Apple's formal apology includes word of restoration methods for those users that'd fallen victim to the fixing feature. Third party repair shops were in trouble for a few days, there. What would they do in the near future? Stop fixing iPhones? Some companies make their whole buck on iPhones alone.

SEE: What is Error 53 on my iPhone all about?

Good news this week is that Apple is updating all iPhones to version iOS 9.2.1 – a new version of that* – to restore phones disabled by Error 53.

*This means it's a slightly changed, or patched, version of 9.2.1, not big enough to have to make a big ol' announcement out of. Nothing has changed other than the fix for Error 53.

To fix your Error 53'd iPhone:

1. Make sure it has battery power.

2. Connect to a computer with iTunes.

3. Wait for the iPhone and your computer to connect.

4. iTunes should give you the option to update your software.

5. Do it.

What's interesting about this fix is that it does not re-enable your Touch ID sensor. If you get your iPhone's hardware fixed by a 3rd party repair shop, you run the risk of the Touch ID sensor being disabled. With that goes Apple's Secure Enclave – the most secure bit in the whole smartphone.

Apple suggests that Error 53 was simple "designed to be a factory test" and that it "was not intended to affect customers."

If you are one of the few users that had Error 53 affect them, and paid Apple to run a fix before now – you should be contacting Apple again today. You should be able to get reimbursement for the fix.

VIA: TechCrunch SOURCE: Apple