Error 53 – The Real Story From Repair Technicians

It is the repair technicians worst nightmare.  Customer brings in a damaged device that requires the display or LCD to be replaced.  During the maintenance the home button flex cable is damaged or had damaged from the users original issue..  Once the OEM home button with fingerprint identification is broken the security pairing between the internal processor and home button chip is severed.  The only way to re-establish the pairing is to have the handset replaced by Apple.  Simply buying a replacement iPhone home button for the respective device will not solve the issue.  As of Feb 8 2016 the cost for replacing the device and fixing the issue is:

iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 6 Plus - $329
iPhone 6S, iPhone 6 - $299
iPhone 5S - $269

Since the release of iOS 9 we have been seeing error 53 on iPhones that have had the home button flex replaced.  Since Apple has stopped signing any firmware prior to iOS 9 once an update is attempted the device pretty much becomes stuck in a useless state.  One remedy to resurrect the previous state if the device is stuck at connect to iTunes after an attempted restore is to use iReb and try to fix the boot loop.

Download: iReb for Windows
Download: iReb for Mac

iReb is an old tool that was designed for use with the 3GS version of iPhones but has worked on devices released after this model.   When the device is booted and shows the connect to iTunes image, go the to the Fix Boot Loop tab and "kick" the device out of recovery.  The device should cycle power and boot normally to the previous state before the attempted update.  If it does not then your device is unfortunately stuck and would need to be replaced as of this writing.

Prior to iOS 9 customers were informed that the thumbprint identification would no longer work, but pressing the button to exit or return to the home screen would function as normal.

Thousands of iPhone 6 users claim they have been left holding almost worthless phones because Apple’s latest operating system permanently disables the handset if it detects an after market home button flex after a repair has been carried out by a non-Apple technician.

Relatively few people outside the tech world are aware of the so-called “error 53” problem, but if it happens to you you’ll know about it. And according to one specialist journalist, it “will kill your iPhone”.

The issue appears to affect handsets where the home button, which has touch ID fingerprint recognition built-in, has been replaced by a “non-official” company or individual.

The problem only comes to light when the latest version of Apple’s iPhone software, iOS 9, or after is installed. Even if the phone may have been working perfectly for weeks or months since a repair or being damaged.

To speak with a repair technician please call us at 1-855-866-4349 and we'll be happy to assist you.  Or you may email repairs(at)firstaidcellular.com and we can help you as best we can.

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