Apple’s software update is killing iPhones with a dreaded Error 53 message

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Hell hath no fury like an Apple customer scorned.

Hundreds of iPhone 6 owners claim to have been left with useless devices, after an update in Apple’s system disabled their handsets.

If the operating system detects any repairs have been made on the iPhone by a non-Apple technician, a message supposedly reading “Error 53″ appears on the screen before it is disabled.

The issue is related to the home screen button, which features a Touch ID fingerprint reader used to unlock the device and verify payments using Apple Pay.

If the button were to break and the user were to get it repaired by a non-Apple technician, the new and updated iOS system would recognise the repair as a threat to the device’s security and shut it down immediately.

However, as third-party software has been installed on the device, this breaks Apple’s terms and conditions for the handset, forcing users to fork out for the cost of a brand new phone.

Apple say the iOS update is necessary for customer security and protects users against fraudulent use of the Touch ID sensor.

Speaking to the Guardian, an Apple spokesman said: “We take customer security very seriously and Error 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers. iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor in your iPhone or iPad correctly matches your device’s other components.

“If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used.”

Broken iPhone 6
(Ben Margot/AP/PA)

Many users seem to appreciate the logic, pointing out should their phone fall into the wrong hands, they would hope their personal data wasn’t as easily accessible.

However, there are some iPhone 6 users who claim to have faced the dreaded Error 53 message, despite not having had their device handled by a non-Apple technician.

Apple advise all customers who have fallen victim to the Error 53 message to contact the support team.