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Law firm follows through with plan to file class action suit against Apple over ‘Error 53’


Earlier this month, Apple acknowledged an issue referred to as “Error 53” that causes iPhone 6 units with home buttons repaired by a third-party to potentially be bricked with software updates. Shortly after Apple acknowledged the issue, a Seattle-based law firm announce that it was considering filing a class action lawsuit against Apple for forcing people to use the company’s own repair outlet, which is often more expensive. Now, the law firm PCVA has officially filed the case with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

In a press release announcing the lawsuit, PCVA stated that the first goal of the suit is to get all affected customers “re-outfitted” with working phones “without the overwhelming costs” that they are facing right now.

The lawyer behind the case, Darrell Cochran, states in the release that while Apple claims the Error 53 is put in place as a security measure, that logic doesn’t add up due to it being implemented following software updates. Cochran argues that Apple needs to inform users of the risks associated with installing a software update, which is ultimately how Error 53 has come to affect users.

“If security was the primary concern, then why did the phones work just fine, sometimes for several months, without the software update,” Cochran asked. “Error 53 only rears its ugly head when downloading a newer version of Apple’s operating system.”

Finally, Cochran notes of how lax Apple has been in its response to the Error 53 issue. The company issued a statement last week saying that Error 53 is put in place as a security measure, but not offering a specific why for people to fix their bricked devices.

It’s not out of the ordinary for class action suits to be filed against Apple. Recently the company has been hit with suits relating to iOS 9 performance on older devices and two different ones relating to mobile data charges.

The full press release from PCVA can be seen below:

SEATTLE, WA – Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC (PCVA), a nationally respected trial law firm, filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, Inc. in federal court today in response to Apple’s “Error 53” iPhone controversy.

Apple has been under fire for its policy of permanently disabling (a practice referred to as “bricking”) iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units that have had their fingerprint sensors damaged or had hardware replaced by third-party repair stores. The phones are bricked after users install a phone update. Once bricked the phone is essentially useless. “Error 53” refers to the message displayed to users who are no longer able to use their phones after installing the update.

“The first objective is to get all the affected iPhone customers re-outfitted with working phones, and without the overwhelming costs that thousands of people are facing right now with error 53 codes and bricked phones,” said Darrell Cochran, lead attorney for the class action lawsuit. “That will provide immediate relief to the consumers and, in the end, it will also help Apple,” Cochran said.

Apple representatives have claimed the policy of disabling phones was a security measure to protect users from having their personal data compromised. But PCVA attorney Cochran doesn’t buy into Apple’s security safeguard explanations.

“If security was the primary concern, then why did the phones work just fine, sometimes for several months, without the software update,” Cochran asked. “Error 53 only rears its ugly head when downloading a newer version of Apple’s operating system.”

Cochran said Apple’s failure to give a warning about the consequences of its update on phones, including the loss of all information in the phone, has consumers crying foul.

“No materials we’ve seen from Apple ever show a disclosure that your phone would self-destruct if you download new software onto a phone,” Cochran said. “If Apple wants to kill your phone under any set of circumstances and for any reason, it has to make it crystal clear to its customers before the damage is done.”

Compounding the problem, according to Cochran, is how disagreeable Apple’s reaction to the problem has been. “The error code 53 signals the death of the phone, and Apple’s response has been to say ‘you have no options; it’s not covered under warranty, and you have to buy a new phone.’”

If you’ve been a victim of Apple’s Error 53, contact the team of attorneys at PCVA to help hold Apple responsible for its wrongdoing.

For more information about PCVA, visit the firm’s website,

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  1. viciosodiego - 7 years ago

    Apple is not responsible of what happens to your device after a repair that is not certified by apple.
    If you didn’t make any repairs, but your iPhone is broken, you can probably convince the guys at the applestore to give you another one for free.

    • cdm283813 - 7 years ago

      The most Apple should do is give people the option of having it officially repaired with proof of purchase by a certain time. Give people a opportunity to correct the issue and not lock people out when they really need their phones. This Error 53 was done on purpose with malicious intent to cause property damage.
      What if Apple decided to send a silver bullet to phones if it detects a jailbroken device or replacement battery? Where do you draw the line? There should be some visibility that this can happen.

      • pdixon1986 - 7 years ago

        I think you are missing the point — most companies have similar things… generally the repairs by a 3rd party are not that great but people get them done because they are cheap or their product is out of warranty…
        But if you look at any security company, whether it be alarms or safes etc, only certified members can repair the security products – if it is detected that a 3rd party has messed around then the security company will say the system has been breached and often wont touch it…

        Apple have openly stated they are serious about security — this “error 53” is in place to stop people tampering with your devices – for all you know, this 3rd party person could be fitting an apple lookalike touch ID button that allows them to copy your fingerprint and access your data — worse is that they could fit a cheap copycat version of the button…

        As for replacement batteries — will you complain to apple is the cheap replacement starts over heating and affects the other components — there is a reason why most companies, and customers, don’t want people tampering with the device…

        My iphone 5 was almost 2 years old and due for an upgrade, the battery started expanding (which can happen to any battery) and the apple store replace the whole device for free because my device had not been tampered with — had i got a 3rd party to look at it first, then took it to apple, they wouldnt have be legally bound to do anything.

        Plus – if you are going to have an expensive product – make sure it has cover and/or extended warranty!!!

      • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

        Um, if a repair shop that’s not an Apple Store or an Authorized Apple Service Center, then they might be using sub-standard parts and/or might not be following the proper procedures. If the system checks to make sure a proper repair was done and if it finds faults and bricks the unit, it’s probably a good thing. What happens if someone steals your phone, replaces the Fingerprint ID sensor logic and then reprograms someone else’s fingerprints and then racks up charges on your Apple Pay? Then what? They have to have safeguards in place to prevent authorized users and unauthorized repairs. It’s the un-authorized service centers that should be sued, NOT Apple.

        As far as backups, Apple always warns the user to back up their data, if they don’t, then that’s tough.

        The unauthorized service centers should replace the phones for not complying with proper repairs and putting sub-standard parts that made the phone not pass the internal tests.

        There were people getting their phones bricked when they were downloading and installing OS’s from XDA, no one bitched and complained about that. No one sued the mfg for their phones being bricked.

        I hate the hypocrisy in how law firms will sue Apple, but when something similar happens to another brand, they don’t do a thing.

        I think this is a non-issue and customers need to go to Authorized Apple Service Centers and ignore that losers that can’t fix an Apple product properly. People need to be aware of where to take their products to be serviced so that they don’t get shotty parts and sub-standard repairs.

        Whomever cracked into your phone and did anything should be the party that’s responsible for fixing or replacing the device. Plain and simple.

      • srgmac - 7 years ago

        I agree — and I don’t buy the security company analogy that pdixon is talking about (although I can’t reply to his comment, cause F@#$( WordPress) – It’s not as if the “cheap” 3rd party repairs did anything wrong — the devices still worked fine from what I gather… Then Apple came along, pushed an update, without notifying people in advance what the update would actually do (this in and of itself is total BS), and it basically makes the device useless.
        Bottom line — if a company is going to come out with an update that disables a device entirely provided it meets some condition, they need to tell people beforehand, so people can know in advance to NOT update it. Not everyone can afford an extended warranty also…The entire world does not live in Beverly Hills…Some people go into debt just to be able to get an iPhone in the first place.

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      People that can’t afford to have their product repaired should probably get the phone with the monthly payment where AppleCare and the Upgrade service is paid that way you can always have a phone that is covered and the user can upgrade when a new model comes out.

      • srgmac - 7 years ago

        Not everyone lives in the United States where said programs are even available, or even where an Apple service center is available — I know, who would have thought that there is more to this planet than just the USA?

      • mrobertson21 - 7 years ago

        you’re so smart man!!! why didn’t everyone think of this?!?!?!?! wowowowowowow

  2. pdixon1986 - 7 years ago

    If people are willing to go to a third party to have an important part of the iphone fixed by those who are not apple approved and obviously don’t have the correct parts or ways to fix the device correctly, then more fool them…

    Even worse are those who continue to get the device fixed after apple have acknowledge the problem.

    Also, most people are fully aware that if you take you item to be fixed by an unauthorised person, regardless of the company, then the warranty becomes void and you have no actual guarantee the problem will be fixed.

    If this lawyer is successful, then it means they don’t take security serious…

    Had it been something like the screen etc – then maybe ok… but a security feature i think apple should handle…

    But having said all that – Apple is a company known for wanting to keep control of their products — if they wanted people tampering with their products they would use regular screws…
    If you want a device that is easy to repair, and can be fixed by most people without sending back to the company – don’t by apple…

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      What’s worse is places like IFIxiT, which is NOT an authorized Apple Service Center trying to act like they know how to repair Apple and other brands devices. Heck, most of the parts they sell are freaking used parts. Who the heck wants a used part? That means it’s going to be questionable in terms of reliability.

      This situation is a buyer beware and not an Apple issue. Yeah, it sucks but the un-authorized service center should replace the unit, not Apple. Apple didn’t perform the crappy repair.

      • eswinson - 7 years ago

        A used part that works is better than the part you have that is broken.

  3. viciosodiego - 7 years ago

    This is from a mac rumors poster, I’m not taking credit for any of this.
    The API hides a lot of the implementation details, so most developers won’t know how it really works, but Apple document it in their iOS Security Guide (PDF) (‘’).

    When you boot your iPhone up, the filesystem is encrypted. It’s just full of meaningless junk; you can’t use the phone. Once you enter your passcode for the first time, the system reads the filesystem key (which itself is stored encrypted by your passcode), and tries to decrypt it. If your passcode is correct, it will end up with the correct filesystem key, and it can unlock your iPhone’s hard drive and read useful data from it. This filesystem key is called “NSFileProtectionComplete”.

    (NSFileProtectionComplete): The class key is protected with a key derived from the user passcode and the device UID.
    … when a passcode is entered, the NSFileProtectionComplete key is loaded from the system keybag and unwrapped.

    IMPORTANT: At this point your phone is unlocked. That is all there is to it. This filesystem key gets placed in the Secure Enclave so your iPhone can read/write from its hard drive. We haven’t used TouchID or fingerprints so far, just a passcode. This is why you always need to give your passcode after a restart.

    So how does TouchID work, exactly?

    Let’s look at what happens when you lock the phone, and how it’s different between TouchID and non-TouchID:

    If Touch ID is turned off, when a device locks, the keys for Data Protection class Complete, which are held in the Secure Enclave, are discarded. The files and keychain items in that class are inaccessible until the user unlocks the device by entering his or her passcode. With Touch ID turned on, the keys are not discarded when the device locks; instead, they’re wrapped with a key that is given to the Touch ID subsystem inside the Secure Enclave. When a user attempts to unlock the device, if Touch ID recognizes the user’s fingerprint, it provides the key for unwrapping the Data Protection keys, and the device is unlocked.

    So basically if you have TouchID disabled (passcode only), this key gets thrown away and you need to enter the passcode again next time you unlock. It’s the exact same process as you go through on first-boot.

    What Apple is saying here is that TouchID just holds on to the key which you already obtained via your passcode for a while (48 hours if the device stays on). But is TouchID really completely optional? Let’s ask Apple:

    When Touch ID scans and recognizes an enrolled fingerprint, the device unlocks without asking for the device passcode. The passcode can always be used instead of Touch ID

    Okay, I guess that settles it.

    What about other stuff like iTunes/ApplePay purchases? How does that work with TouchID?

    Touch ID can also be configured to approve purchases from the iTunes Store, the App Store, and the iBooks Store, so users don’t have to enter an Apple ID password. When they choose to authorize a purchase, authentication tokens are exchanged between the device and the store. The token and cryptographic nonce are held in the Secure Enclave. The nonce is signed with a Secure Enclave key shared by all devices and the iTunes Store.

    So when you enter your iTunes Store password the first time after a reboot, your device gets a temporary token to use for purchases, stores it in the Secure Enclave, and guards it behind TouchID. Again, it’s totally optional; just a shortcut for entering your password.

    The same applies to Apple Pay:

    The Secure Element will only allow a payment to be made after it receives authorization from the Secure Enclave, confirming the user has authenticated with Touch ID or the device passcode. Touch ID is the default method if available but the passcode can be used at any time instead of Touch ID. A passcode is automatically offered after three unsuccessful attempts to match a fingerprint and after five unsuccessful attempts, the passcode is required. A passcode is also required when Touch ID is not configured or not enabled for Apple Pay.

    Man, Apple is really going to regret writing this document…

    So yeah, in conclusion.

    • 89p13 - 7 years ago

      I actually draw the opposite conclusion from the article – Apple has explained how the security works – it’s the people who have not bothered to read and understand it who have created the problem – both for themselves (3rd party repair centers who by offering and charging for a service they are neither qualified nor authorized to do and, by performing that service, are responsible for “bricking” their customer’s phone) and their customers.

      Apple seems to be very transparent in their security — IF anyone took the time to do their due diligence and search for answers before offering a service.


      • jacosta45 - 7 years ago

        Exactly this.

      • srgmac - 7 years ago

        I don’t see how the 3rd party repair centers are responsible when it was the update that bricked the phone, not them.
        If you are going to come out with an update that renders devices people have paid for completely useless, you need to notify people of that in advance.
        That is just common courtesy. Apple was obviously, not transparent at all, in that aspect.
        Also remember, there are many countries in the world where there aren’t really any authorized repair centers; or they can be very far away.
        A lot of people in these comments I think are making it seem like the *only* reason someone would take their phone to a 3rd party repair place is because they are stupid\cheap\dumb\etc. — but maybe it’s because they really don’t have any other practical choice?
        What if they need their phone for work also and can’t afford *not* to have it, or to make it all the way to the nearest Apple repair center?
        In the original article, a photographer working for The Guardian on assignment broke his home button, had it fixed, it worked totally fine, then he updated his phone later on — bam. Bricked. I don’t know what he was supposed to do differently…Go without a phone? He was on assignment so I don’t think he could have taken time off to go to an authorized Apple service center; and he obviously needed his phone to continue working for his job.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      Great post — it would make sense (to me anyway) to just disable TouchID and let the device continue to work — which is an option in settings anyway — you don’t have to use it… Just seems like such a dick move to remotely brick the device. This is not something I would expect from Apple.

  4. viciosodiego - 7 years ago

    1. it is totally technically possible to rip the TouchID sensor out of your phone and still be able to unlock it (assuming you have the passcode).
    2. TouchID does not seem to be essential for any single feature of the device; it is only ever a shortcut for entering the passwords you have already recently entered in to the phone.
    3. It’s really weird that Apple only check the TouchID sensor’s integrity when they update the OS. Surely they should check that on every boot?

    So what did Apple do wrong?

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      Go to the article on the site if you want to know more.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      I didn’t really see anything in the original article that answered any of these questions, heh…all of them perfectly valid.
      The logical thing to do would be to just prevent TouchID from working — not remotely brick the phone.
      Interestingly enough, I think that your first question is perhaps the most valid, but is that actually true?
      I wonder if anyone has tried this. It makes sense to me that the device would still work — it only bricks itself if it detects a mismatch, according to all the writings available.
      Also for your third question, I have to wonder why it took them so long to implement this in the first place — but I don’t see it possible that they would NOT have been checking on this previously — it just didn’t brick the device — so it’s most likely that it did absolutely check it on every boot — it just didn’t do anything with that information…but this is just speculation…Someone would have to test this out themselves.

  5. RP - 7 years ago

    The free market system at work in all its glory. Non big deal.

  6. Peter Risberg (@N4SAnet) - 7 years ago

    This is for Apple to know if you done something with your phone, not the Apple way. If thats the case, then you’r phone is out of warranty. This is what error 53 means.

  7. jt77b - 7 years ago

    A home button will eventually die in time, it’s the most used part on the phone, most of us would have had a bad button on some device at one point, to make a phone unusable once the button fails it just madness, in a few years time there will be a land full of unusable iPhone 6 phones.
    If you were to swap the home button from 2 good working original iPhone 6 phones the touch ID would just fail and become unusable as a sensor but fine as a home button and that should be ok, so this has nothing to do with copy parts.
    There is lots of people here defending Apple and I’m guessing that they would have an Apple Store not far from them and if I did and the cost was resonable I would use them to, but for the rest of us round the world in small countries and towns the Apple repair process is half the price of the phone because there is no Apple stores & we end up with a refurbished phone and it takes 10 days+.
    If this is Apple being secure why isn’t the iPhone 5S affected by this 53 error. This is a huge error by Apple to distory thousands of people’s property, most people can’t even afford these phones and are still paying off there unusable phones, they could easily patch a finger print sensor phone to wipe all fingerprint data on a failed sensor OS update instead of bricking it.

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      If you have an unauthorized person service your phone, it violates the warranty and if the phone is damaged someone how, Apple can’t help you. A phone can get bricked during the OS installation process. Do you remember people were installing XDA OS versions on their Android phones and there were many different scenarios where their phones would get bricked? And that’s just installing the OS from XDA and that’s on phones that haven’t been serviced.

      Maybe Apple’s just checking for the integrity of certain aspects of the phone and fingerprint sensor tech in one key area because the phone, at that time may not think it’s the proper user using the phone since the phone was altered and doesn’t conform to Apple’s specs since features were crippled during the repair of the device.

      If the product was serviced by Apple and it bricked, then I think the customer would have a claim against Apple since they stand by their repairs. but these are repairs done by third party UN-AUTHORIZED service people and God knows what they are doing to these devices.

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      If you get your phone repaired by an Authorized Service Center, then you’re phone won’t become a brick, if it does, then it something else that’s wrong beyond their control.

      the whole point of this is that people are taking their phones to un-authorized service centers and getting repairs that aren’t getting fixed properly.

      If you had ANY mfg of phone and you take it to an un-authorized service center and if it’s not fixed properly and it becomes unusable, then you have to go back to who repaired it.

      If someone can’t afford a phone, then they should not have bought it in the first place. If they have a problem, then they are to take it to an authorized service center, whether it’s the mfg directly or an independent authorized service center.

  8. 89p13 - 7 years ago

    No Shock In That Headline – Like Sharks To A Wounded Fish, Lawyers Smell $$$$$

  9. Catherine Rot - 7 years ago

    “That will provide immediate relief to the consumers and, in the end, it will also help Apple,” Cochran said. — One big fat LOL! :D

  10. Howie Isaacks - 7 years ago

    If you get your iPhone fixed by an uncertified repair facility, then that’s your fault. Being a cheap bastard, or a dumb ass is not something you can sue Apple for. This lawsuit deserves to fail, and it is only being brought because the lawyer wants to make money.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      So the only reason a person would take their phone to an uncertified repair facility is if they are a cheap bastard or a dumbass.
      Makes sense. Oh wait — I actually read The Guardian article — Many places in the world have ZERO authorized repair centers.
      People need their phones for their job — some it’s the only device they have — so they do what they have to do to make sure it’s up and running.
      The fact is, the home button is the part that has the highest fail rate, out of any other part.
      And yet, according to you, all of this is somehow the CUSTOMER’s fault?
      Glad you aren’t involved in customer relations in my company!

      • Howie Isaacks - 7 years ago

        I stand by what I said. Deal with it.

  11. Robert - 7 years ago

    The Touch ID is an important part of your personal security. Why would anyone compromise their security by having a third party mess with it?

    It’s not hard to imagine a criminal gang setting up a ‘Touch ID button fixing service’ in order to facilitate a breach of iPhone security. Well done to Apple for closing the door!

    However, bricking the device does seem harsh. It seems to me that it would have been better to just disable Touch ID and thereafter require the user to use their passcode, however this may be complex to implement (the implementation would have to be irreversable with the same level of security). If Apple has knowledge of an attack, they may have acted responsibly by acting in the quickest and safest way to stop it.

    Compromising Touch ID security has been a major quest for hackers for years, any success would badly damage both Apple and consumers.

  12. paulywalnuts23 - 7 years ago

    As much as I would like to defend Apple here I think it is silly they feel they need to brick the phone in order to protect the Enclave. Instead why not just turn off touch ID and the Enclave along with the features that use them, most notably Apple Pay. Turn the Touch ID back to a normal home button and info the user what has happened and if they would like to fix this issue please visit an authorized service center in order to regain the functionality of Touch ID, Enclave and the features they support.

    • Seika - 7 years ago

      Failing gracefully. Should be what happened.
      It’s a fair enough middle ground. Replace the Touch ID in unauthorized technician and you can’t use that part anymore. We’re not asking Apple to let the 3rd party Touch ID works like the original, only asking them to not kill the device just because they can.

  13. b9bot - 7 years ago

    Apple clearly states in there warranty only certified service centers can do repairs. However Apple does not certify any 3rd parties for there iPhone repairs. You need special equipment to do the job correctly. Clearly if any court sides with these greedy lawyers they are bias and are not going with the facts.

    • 3rdngoal - 7 years ago

      Thats only for warranty work, right? Where does it end? What if you break your screen, aren’t near an authorized Apple service center and have it replaced with a third party repair shop. Would it be ok for the phone to work fine for a month and then on the next update suddenly become a brick?

  14. Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

    Typical attorneys twisting reality around to make a case. It’s not the result of an update, it’s the result of someone tampering with the guts of the insides or something that can cause a phone to brick. Heck there were people installing XDA OS code on their smartphones and if someone didn’t perform the installation correctly, it could brick their phone, but I don’t see law firms suing the mfg for this.

    The Error 53 doesn’t destroy back up’s of the customer’s data, so the customers are warned to backup data prior to performing the OS update, it’s not Apple’s fault if the customer don’t back up their data. Apple doesn’t go out and destroy a phone for “any reason”.

    A phone can go dead for a multiple of reasons. Does a car warn you that their brakes are going to go out before they do? Does a car warn you ahead of time before an engine catches fire? They warned the customer of backing up their data prior to the OS Update, and during the OS update, the update can get corrupted, which could cause problems (ANY phone has this potential problem) or the phone was tampered with and the OS update confirms the product has been tampered with.

    Boy does this attorney like to fabricate stories. What is he smoking?

    I’ll bet the guy doesn’t have that many victims of Error 53 and he just wants to make a $hit ton of money because he gets to pocket anything that isn’t claimed and most people don’t put in claims because it only works out to be a few bucks a person, if anything.

    • 3rdngoal - 7 years ago

      I disagree, if it was just the replacing of the TouchID module then the OS should have identified that and either disabled touchID or bricked the moment it was booted after the repair. But it only bricked when the phone OS was updated. Your examples are kind of strange. To use one of your analogies, what if you had your master brake cylinder replaced in your ford by a third party garage and the parts were after market. You get in your car and drive home and everything is great. The next morning you are driving to work and all of the sudden the master cylinder stops working without warning. Is that OK too?

      • srgmac - 7 years ago

        Could you imagine if there was a car out there that when you buy it, you are only allowed to get the oil changed by the dealer you bought the car from?
        You have the oil changed by someone else, or you do it yourself, for whatever reason (you’re out of town and you realize it needs to be changed, the dealer is closed weekends, or only open while you are at work and can’t get there in time, whatever), it goes fine — three months later, all of a sudden, you are out the door headed to work, got an important meeting, can’t be late – you get in your car and it says on the info screen “Error 53 — Car is not drivable for your safety” — I would be so angry if this happened to me, just saying.

  15. 89p13 - 7 years ago

    Very interesting article in Macnn about this very situation: Specifically a protection offered under Magnuson-Moss act, which specifies certain situations where warranties for a device “can disclaim warranty coverage only for defects or damage caused by the use of parts or service” not provided or authorized by the warranty issuer, in this case, Apple, but it does allow for necessary maintenance or repairs to be performed by any company.

    Link to the whole article is:

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      Thanks for the link — it will be interesting to see where this goes, although it will probably take a long time. If it were my company and I was in charge of this, I would just make the update disable TouchID and let the device still work. I would not want to be in the habit of rendering devices people have paid for completely useless just because they happen to be in a situation or live in an area that necessitated them to go to a 3rd party repair center.

  16. How could this be accepted as a lawsuit, Apple clearly states in it’s EULA that any unauthorized modifications done to a device will void the warranty and they’re not responsible, this is right from the Apple EULA page under the section “What is not covered by this warranty” that EVERYBODY agrees to when setting up an iOS device, it states:

    “damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (“AASP”); (g) to an Apple Product that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple;”

    So this would obviously fall under the damage section, so Apple is not at fault, nor should they be liable. If you took your phone to one of these 3rd party shops to have a broken screen fixed and the digitizer stopped working would you be mad at Apple. You should know the risks when you go to place that is unauthorized. That’s way standards and certifications exist, to give you the confidence of what you’re working with, it’s the same thing with cars, be careful about going to a place that is not certified by the manufacture, or if you have somebody come to your house to work to work on the plumbing you should probably get somebody that is licensed and reputable, not just some joe off the street that says he can fix your pipes, Long story short you get what you pay for and if you went to an unauthorized place to have your phone serviced and it bricked you really have nobody to blame but yourself.

    • 3rdngoal - 7 years ago

      It’s not damaged if it works fine and then on a software update doesn’t work. I could see if the unauthorized house repairing it broke something, but they didn’t, as far as I understand.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      The repair itself ISN’T damaging the device though — it worked fine, according to all the people this happened to — for months…Until this update was pushed by Apple. So if you want to talk cause and effect, APPLE are the ones causing the devices to stop working — plain and simple; not the repair centers. A remote brick of a $699+ device is a total dick move, regardless of the circumstances. Remote bricking itself should be illegal IMHO. Think about it — you can technically say that the iOS update was malware. Also if this was about security why weren’t they doing this from the start? No-one seems to be able to give a valid answer to that question. If this was anything else (a car, a television, a laptop) and it was being remote bricked months after simply doing a self-repair, s*** would be hitting the fan.

  17. eswinson - 7 years ago

    If the headlines were “3rd Party Repairs ON Touch ID Sensors Allowing Criminals To Steal Data…” there would be a lawsuit too.

    • paulywalnuts23 - 7 years ago

      There are ways to prevent that without bricking the phone.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      So disable TouchID completely if it detects a mismatch. Problem solved.
      The phone still works without TouchID…Everyone wins — the person who paid the ridiculous sum for their device can still use it.
      I don’t see why a remote brick is the only solution, or even a good solution.

  18. thatitdude - 7 years ago

    Glad to see there is a class action suit in progress…

    Had this happen to my iPhone..Apparently shop replaced the button when they replaced my broken screen.

  19. Batata (@BatataKwame) - 7 years ago

    This was clearly malicious. Apple is either lying about the Secure Enclave system or they want the easy wait out of making a lot of people fork out money for new phones. If they wanted to protect your data, they would simply disable all fingerprint related functionalities from then on. If you were already using some of those (like unlocking) they would show a warning and prompt you to go to the next Apple store to validade your identify, and once you regained access, you could use other methods to protect your data since the fingerprint reader would be disabled from then on. They would give you a choice for an official repair and that’s it. That would be proper customer service, working in the sole interest of security. Having it working until a software update shows that the Enclave is not so secure after all…


Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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