How The iOS 9 Update Is Killing iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Units

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus do not come cheap, so those who buy these iPhones expect their units to last at least quite a long time before they upgrade. However, the new iOS 9 update is proving to be quite the death omen, killing thousands of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus all over the world.

A lot of iPhone 6 users are complaining that a certain Error 53 is causing their iPhone 6 units to be "bricked," a technological term that means a unit is as useful as a brick. The Error 53 that's plaguing the whole iPhone 6 community is caused by two things: the heartless iOS 9 update and an unauthorized non-Apple repair.

Error 53 kills iPhone 6 units for good
Error 53 kills iPhone 6 units for good

Freelance photographer Antonio Olmos tells the Guardian how the deadly Error 53 broke his heart and his iPhone 6. He was in Balkans covering the refugee crisis when his iPhone gave up. Since he needed the iPhone for work, he had to take it to a local non-Apple store (because of the lack of Apple support centers) and have it fixed. The store did quite well and fixed the home button and the screen. Olmos did not have problems with his iPhone 6 until Apple prompted him with a new update -- iOS 9. As soon as he started the update, his iPhone displayed Error 53, and that was the end of his iPhone 6' life. Olmos took his iPhone 6 to the nearest Apple store but he was told it was good as dead.

Olmos, like all who experienced Error 53, is quite furious.

"The whole thing is extraordinary. How can a company deliberately make their own products useless with an upgrade and not warn their own customers about it? Outside of the big industrialised nations, Apple stores are few and far between, and damaged phones can only be brought back to life by small third-party repairers. I am not even sure these third-party outfits even know this is a potential problem."

Basically, Error 53 is common among iPhone 6 users who broke their home button or screen and had it fixed by non-Apple certified technicians. However, a lot of people feel that the Error 53 is a tactic by Apple to cripple small-scale industries and cash in bigger money for the company. If Apple was not doing this for the money, they should be warning users and halting the updates.

Error 53 is pretty harsh to iPhone 6 units (Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Error 53 is pretty harsh to iPhone 6 units [Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images]

Kyle Wiens, an expert who runs the tech website iFixit, shares that the page on their site that tackles Error 53 has had almost 200,000 hits, suggesting how bad the Error 53 crisis plaguing iPhone 6 units is already. He noticed the problem occurs if a non-Apple technician repaired the home button or the cable. The iOS 9 upgrade then checks if the iPhone still uses the original components. If not, it simply kills the phone.

iKream offered a few tips on how to prevent the deadly Error 53 but offers no concrete way to revive the iPhone after being bricked by the Error 53.

  • Try to unplug extra USB devices from your computer when your iPhone is connected.
  • When you try to update or restore your iPhone 6 and the said error code appears, ensure you are using the latest version of iTunes on your computer.
  • You might as well consider installing available updates for your Mac or PC.
  • Uninstall and re-install iTunes on your computer. This will help rectify any glitches on the iTunes program.
  • Restart your computer and then try updating or restoring your iPhone again.
  • Make sure no security software or settings are blocking your iPhone from communicating with the Apple update server. You may need to verify your security software and settings and make sure everything is properly configured.
  • Try to restore your iPhone two or more times.
  • Also check and ensure the connected USB cable, computer, and network you are using are all working well.
  • Try using a different cable and different USB port. You may do this to determine whether the problem is due to a faulty USB cable or port.
In response to the Error 53 issue in iPhone 6 units, an Apple spokesperson offered the following explanation.

"We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave, which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor. When iPhone is serviced by an authorized Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the touch ID sensor, the pairing is re-validated. This check ensures the device and the iOS features related to touch ID remain secure. Without this unique pairing, a malicious touch ID sensor could be substituted, thereby gaining access to the secure enclave. When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure.

"When an iPhone is serviced by an unauthorized repair provider, faulty screens or other invalid components that affect the touch ID sensor could cause the check to fail if the pairing cannot be validated. With a subsequent update or restore, additional security checks result in an 'error 53' being displayed [...] If a customer encounters an unrecoverable error 53, we recommend contacting Apple support."

[Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images]