A Seattle-based law firm is preparing to file a class action lawsuit against Apple over iOS updates bricking iPhones whose home buttons have been repaired or replaced by third-party companies. The Guardian reports that lawyers PCVA are inviting those who have experienced the ‘Error 53’ problem to contact them.
A London-based lawyer also believes that the issue may place Apple in breach of consumer law in the UK …
Apple says that the issue is a security feature designed to ensure that Touch ID cannot be compromised.
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.
But law firm PCVA believes that Apple’s policy may violate consumer protection laws in the USA.
We believe Apple may be intentionally forcing users to use their repair services, which cost much more than most third-party repair shops. There is incentive for Apple to keep end users from finding alternative methods to fix their products.
UK barrister Richard Colbey says it is likely the same is true in the UK, and that Apple may even be guilty of causing criminal damage.
It is hard to see how something which ceases to work in this way could be said to be of reasonable quality, one of the determinants of which is durability. The law states: ‘A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence.’
Apple says that those who experience Error 53 should contact Apple Support, but has not yet responded to a question I asked yesterday about whether it is able to resolve the issue for those owners other than by providing a chargeable out-of-warranty replacement.
Those interested in joining the class action lawsuit can register at PCVA’s website.
Photo: Michaela Rehle/Reuters