Decrypting the Mystery of Error 53: A Mystery Bug Killing iPhones

Last week, Apple iPhone users were taken aback, when reports started to surface that a mystery bug is causing iPhones to die all of a sudden. The Error in question was Error 53 and it spread fears across the iPhone community that randomly any phone could get affected and knock itself off. However, truth cannot be further away from the same as the Error will affect only a very small percentage of iPhone users. So what exactly is the mystery error and who is vulnerable to it?

iPhone 6

The Error 53 is going to affect you, if you have gotten your iPhone Touch ID or in some cases, your display replaced by a service center which, is not authorised with Apple and used a local part on your phone. Apple, at the time of announcing Touch ID on the iPhone 5s had made a claim that they do not store any information regarding the Touch ID on their server or cloud, but all the information is locally stored within your iPhone. If you get your iPhone Touch ID replaced from an unauthorised source, chances are that the repair shop would not be able to able to resync the Touch ID to the iPhone serial number, which is the case by default. As a result, every time Apple checks for a match of Touch ID and iPhone serial number, and is not able to find the match, it deems the phone to be stolen or tampered wrongly and as a result, just deactivates the device away.

Apple has explained the Error 53 as follows:

If your iOS device has Touch ID, iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor matches your device’s other components during an update or restore. This check keeps your device and the iOS features related to Touch ID secure.
When iOS finds an unidentified or unexpected Touch ID module, the check fails. For example, an unauthorized or faulty screen replacement could cause the check to fail.

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