Apple delivers fix for bricked iPhones and iPads
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Feb 19, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

Apple delivers fix for bricked iPhones and iPads

Apple admits error shouldn't have affected customers and promised users the update will restore disabled devices


Facing a consumer backlash and a class-action lawsuit, Apple Inc. on Friday issued a fix to reactivate iPhones and iPads permanently disabled during a software update because the devices were repaired using non-Apple sanctioned services.

Thousands of iPhone 6 users complained this month after they received a bricking “error 53” message when non-original components were detected during the operating system update or as part of the restore function — causing devices to fail a Touch ID sensor test. Handsets whose software was updated via the cloud were not affected.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple said its fix will clear the error by activating the devices via iTunes on a Mac or PC and installing the updated iOS. Touch ID, however, will not be restored and users are instructed to contact Apple “to ask about service options” including Apple-authorized repairs.

Apple initially called the error message intentional to prevent use of a malicious Touch ID sensor and validate users’ fingerprint ID, but in Friday’s statement said it was part of a factory test “not intended to affect customers” and issued the fix with an updated version of iOS 9.2.1.

“Customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement,” Apple said in support documents on its site.

The update will fully restore disabled devices and prevent future bricking for similar reasons and can be downloaded on the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro, the company said.

Seattle-based law firm PCVA last week filed the first consumer suit against Apple over the bricking issue, questioning the company’s security argument and saying Apple should have warned consumers of the consequences of using outside repair services.

PCVA also said Apple may be violating consumer laws by forcing customers to use sanctioned repair services, while London-based lawyer Richard Colbey told the Guardian newspaper that disabling iPhones “could potentially be viewed as an offence” under the Criminal Damage Act 1971.

Toronto Star

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