BIG warning for iPhone 6 owners that need repairs done

February 5, 2016 at 05:34:01
Specs: IOS
iPhone 6 (6+ and later?) owners need to be very careful about how they go about having their phone repaired.

I just read a write up about iPhones being bricked by Apple when customers have their iPhone repaired by a third party. The phone issues an "error 53" message and basically bricks the device. Apparently all data on the device is lost. Also Apple stores reportedly refuse to touch the devices that show this error. The repair may have been done in the past and is not displayed until the operating system is upgraded. This has also happened to devices which are damaged but have not been fixed.

This is a troubling event if the accounts I have read are true.

I'm going for a look to see what more I can find out about this worrying new discovery if what I have read is accurate.

Here's a link to the story:

See More: BIG warning for iPhone 6 owners that need repairs done

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February 5, 2016 at 06:02:43
Thats pretty bad news, i tend to repair quite a few phones. I dont think i will be repairing anymore anytime soon. I wonder what the 'offical' repairman does to tell the device its been repaired by an approved person?

nice find and thanks for sharing btk1w1

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February 5, 2016 at 06:27:59

from what I can tell online is that the error is tied to the home button being replaced with another or there is damage to the home button or ribbon cable which attaches it to the motherboard. It appears the button has a unique code that pairs it to the motherboard.

On the Apple forums page there was an iPhone 6 owner that had a screen repair done by someone other than Apple and on the same day of repair they attempted to upgrade iOS and ended up with the error. They quickly returned to the repair center and luckily the original home button was still in the repairers possession and they put it back on the phone. After a few attempts the poster managed to restore their iPhone from a backup so data loss for them fortunately was minimal.

However there are a lot of reports of people phoning Apple or going to the Apple retail store and getting nowhere. Apple employees were either playing dumb or genuinely didn't know about the error so they offered generic restore to factory condition and restore from backup advice which was useless because this basically amounts to a hardware issue.

I have seen reports which go back to mid last year so it appears this may have been introduced with iOS 9 and it may be gaining traction now that these devices are starting to age. People with faulty but non-replaced buttons are also experiencing this problem but Apple seems to be giving them a hard time if the device is out of the warranty period. I read that to replace a home button out of warranty period was £275 (I'm not entirely sure I got this price right from memory but it was up there).

Edit: interesting point about how the device knows if the repair was undertaken by Apple. Surely they wouldn't go through the effort of replacing the entire motherboard and button. Maybe they code the button to pair it with the motherboard and if so there may be a workaround. Who knows?

message edited by btk1w1

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February 5, 2016 at 07:17:31
That would make sense if the button has a serial code which pairs it to the motherboard, i had the same sort of issue once with mu xbox 360 when the dvd drive failed, in order to replace it i had to read the old serial from the damaged drive and burn it to a chip on the new drive otherwise the motherboard refused to acknowledge it.

I am sure someone will find a bypass to this, either with a piece of hardware which can sit between the mobo and button, or perhaps a software hack. I would prefer the former. When i repkace screens i always put the orginal home button back in anyways..

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Related Solutions

February 5, 2016 at 07:42:16
Edited: irrelevant

See below.

message edited by btk1w1

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February 5, 2016 at 08:08:17
I asked Cult of Mac if they could cover the story and they just posted an article.

It now makes sense why Apple has gone to big measures to have this security tied to the home button but it appears they are using a cannon to kill a fly.

Here's the article:

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February 5, 2016 at 08:17:40
Makes sense i guess, just annoying that i could brick a phone if I attempt to repair it. Im going to search to find out how apple re validate the pairinh, doubt i'll find anything of use but might be worth checking. Im so glad you shared this with us.

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February 5, 2016 at 08:28:36
MacRumors have covered it now also:

message edited by btk1w1

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February 7, 2016 at 12:03:07
I have a contract iPhone6 in Namibia and did not experience any problems with my phone but after i did an update last year May, I received that HOROR .... Error 53. It took the service provider a few weeks before it was finished and my phone was totally reset, however PTL, I had just completed a backup before I did the update so I was able to get all my info back.

The worrying thing was that I was given a paper to sign acknowledgement of, stating my warranty is now no longer valid as my phone is bent..... I have a particularly strong cover for it and upon closer look I saw that it was slightly bent indeed. I wonder how many others have a bent iPhone6?

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February 7, 2016 at 14:26:43
Hi GrannyBe

Do you have an Apple Store, not an Apple products reseller, nearby?

If you do they are your best chance at having the phone replaced. Especially if you can prove the damage occurred within the warranty period.

There are reports that people have had success but only when they visited the store. Others have said Apples policy is that they won't replace bent phones. So the reports are mixed.

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February 9, 2016 at 04:41:00
Hi btk1w1

Thanks for the info but unfortunately my phone is not under warranty anymore. BLAST :(

I got my phone in Dec 2014 so I wonder if Apple managed to make the phones stronger after that. I love my iTechnology but I need a STRONG phone ☺

Cheers ☺

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February 9, 2016 at 15:56:57

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February 9, 2016 at 16:59:36
Grannybe - where are lcated, and how/where did you buy your iPhone6?

I ask as in the UK, and in Europe (that place off the east coast of the UK) we have rather handy consumer laws, which actually provide a much longer warranty for a host of consumer electronics, and assorted electrical items...

In the Uk it can be as long as 6yrs., and in Europe as long as 5yrs. (Possibly it's 5 for UK, and 6 for Europe; either way it's a lot longer than the standard Aplle..) There are terms/conditions of course, but they are not unfair; in fact possibly very generous in some eyes...?

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February 19, 2016 at 08:15:39

This might interest you AWTL. Hope this helps you somehow :-)

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February 19, 2016 at 12:49:46
Grannybe said: "Thanks for the info but unfortunately my phone is not under warranty anymore."

This is kind of OT for this thread, but I thought I would toss this out anyway:

I gave my son my old Samsung Galaxy S5. The camera was intermittent and I told him that if he wanted to take it to a 3rd party repair shop, I pay for the repair. He decided to do some research and found out that there might be a software issue that caused the camera to go blurry at times.

He called Verizon to see if they knew anything about it and got some good news:

Verizon was having an "open house" on phone insurance. No contract, just a month-to-month insurance policy. He paid ~US$11 for a month's insurance, the Ins Co replaced his phone with a new (probably refurbished) S5 and then he cancelled the insurance.

It's worth a call to your carrier or a 3rd party insurer.

message edited by DerbyDad03

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February 20, 2016 at 03:07:39

Thats awesome, even if the fingerprint feature is disabled atleast the phone will continue to function. Thanks for the update bk1w1

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