Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Apple Is Killing iPhones On Purpose – Here’s Why

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016 by | Filed Under: iOS, Smartphones

Thousands of iPhone users have reported a mysterious bug that’s killing their devices. It’s know as Error 53 and it can turn your new iPhone into an incredibly expensive paperweight. The only solution to the problem is to get a new phone.

But this isn’t some design flaw associated with the update to iOS 9 or some nefarious scheme by hackers. Apple has finally admitted that it’s a “security measure.”


And by “security measure,” the company means that if you have a non-Apple technician¬† repair your phone, it will become permanently disabled.

You might choose to have a non-Apple certified tech work on your phone because you or a friend are already tech-savvy or because it costs a lot less. Now making that choice can leave you with a phone that’s never going to work again.


The repair doesn’t need to have happened recently. You could have had it taken care of months ago, but when you update to iOS 9, your phone becomes about as useful as a brick. Any data that was stored only on the phone is lost for good.

It’s all tied to the Touch ID sensor on the phones. According to Apple when an iPhone is serviced by an authorized Apple tech, the touch sensor can be validated. Non-Apple service tech can’t validate the phone, so it is automatically disabled to prevent tampering by someone with malicious intent.


Some users even report the problem in phones that were slightly damaged, but not repaired.

So if you’ve done work on your iPhone or had a non-authorized Apple tech do work, you should think twice about upgrading to iOS 9.

According to The Guardian, lawyers are now talking about filing a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of customers whose phones have been disabled.

~ Cynthia

Tags: , , , , , ,

19 Responses to “Apple Is Killing iPhones On Purpose – Here’s Why”

  1. Van H. says:

    This is a money grab by Apple by making IPhone owners purchase a new phone. This is the reason I will never buy an apple and will still with Android phones.

  2. Jadesqr says:

    WOW!!! Planned obsolescence or sabotage; is it even legal?

  3. Markj says:

    So glad I picked Android.

  4. Pat Pittman says:

    I think that they are forcing an upgrade. I have TracFone and I’ll stay with them. I also don’t have an Apple computer, costs way more and does the same thing as less expensive computers.

  5. Dave says:

    This is Apple way to get more money and get people to bring in the phone for repair. This also allows them to tell customers their phone is beyond repair, when normally a 3rd party can repair the phone. This is a way to get you to buy a new phone.

  6. Fyjimo says:


  7. Jon W. Spead says:

    Pretty sure that this is simply a ploy by Apple to try and make a lot more money. Not a smart business move in my estimation but typical of Apple. Hope all the Apple users come down on them like a ton of bricks with a huge class-action suite.

  8. Gale says:

    You know I always thought when I buy something it becomes mine to do what ever I want with it! What gives Apple the right to disable my phone for any reason? Not only should Apple be sued, people really need to boycott Apple and refuse to buy their products after Apple doing this!

    • Frank says:

      Gale, you DO NOT necessarily “own” the item you buy. Take a recording, for instance. You don’t have the right to make copies. Take a book; copyright law forbids you from republishing or using the text. There are many examples that I’m sure you can think of yourself. I think that Apple has the right to protect their product; if the buyer doesn’t agree, their pocketbook will speak. I personally will always own an iPhone; different strokes.

      • JJM says:

        I certainly do OWN the items that I buy, otherwise I am Renting or Leasing. Apple does have the right to protect their product with Patents and Copyrights. If your car maker required you to have all maintenance and repairs done at their dealer, are you going to buy that brand again??

  9. Dennis says:

    Years ago I bought an Apple I-Pod 2GB music player. It works great in my van, with a radio transmitter to send the music to the stereo in the van. It holds about 400 MP3 songs. One time it locked up on my and I could not turn it off or do anything else with it. I called Apple and they wanted $70.00 to tell me how to unlock the device.
    I said no I’d buy another and hung up. Did a search on the web and found a solution. Just hold a couple buttons and hold the power buton (I actually forget the actual procedure) and it came back to life.
    That in itself turned me off to Apple products. $70 bucks for a few second fix over the phone? no no

  10. Marc says:

    Did do (official) support for iphones and other apple products. Even for free I will never have/use an apple product. Basically if you are willing to overpay 25 to 33% for equivalent if not better and more reliable products, are willing to think about farting when, how stinky, how loud , how much is decided by Granny Apple (a.k.a. working the way they force you, when they decide, and with their ukases and limitations) than apple is for you. I had experiences that proved that for an apple disciple of the apple sect, whatever they do is right, even if it kills you.

  11. Steve says:

    Just as when I buy a car, I can get it worked on at whatever service facility I desire. It doesn’t have to be at a dealer garage for the brand vehicle I purchased. I can even perform some maintenance tasks myself if I desire, to save money! If Apple insists that I return my Apple iPhone or other Apple equipment to their stores for service or repair if I don’t wish to have them make a repair I can do myself or a local technician, then I wish the attorneys the very best of luck with the class action lawsuit! Apple is getting as bad as Microsoft with their CONTROL over products their customers have purchased. It’s mine! I paid for it! I’ll get it fixed when and where I want for a price I can afford! My contract is nearly up…I’ll be looking into some other phones that my friends have that seem far superior to my iPhone 5S!

  12. Charles says:

    I could be totally wrong, Apple might have other intents; however, I do believe it is part of Apple’s strategy to protect the iphone from intruders. Just like they restrict external vendor apps from accessing or modifying the settings. The same goes for a new car under warranty. You might not have to take it to the dealer, but you should take it to a certified repairman or you could jeopardize the warranty.

    Just think if someone was to steal you phone and able to extract your personal data and contacts. Wouldn’t you feel safer knowing that your phone manufacturer had taken measures to help prevent that? Like I said above, I don’t know Apple’s real intent. Perhaps we’ll know in time.

  13. Jerry says:

    This idiocy and the refusal to open a terrorists fone is reason enough to never buy an apple product in the future.

    • JJM says:

      This repair issue is enough to stop me from purchasing an IPhone.
      But at the same time I applaud Apple for protecting our privacy by not building a backdoor that eventually could be used on anyone’s IPhone.

  14. Beverly says:

    In one word:SUCKS. I will never purchase an Apple phone or Ipad. I did love my Mac laptop (stolen) and do wish Apple would make Garage Band available to run on Windows machines. I’m using Audacity now but there is no comparison in intuitiveness or ease. Yes,although most other things are available much less expensively on PCs, I do think Apple does some things better and is still less vulnerable, though no longer virtually invulnerable, to virus infiltration. I also like the fact that it keeps all parts of programs in one place rather than scattering them around the hard drive as shares. Or at least I think it still does. On some level it doesn’t matter to me as I can’t afford anything Apple.

  15. Mikchael Affronte says:

    I believe apple has just violated the anti monopoly act passed by the U.S. Supreme Court at the time of the breakup of Ma Bell.

  16. L. Ho says:

    Disabling phones that were previously repaired by non-Aplle technician is INAPPROPRIATE because there was NO INSTRUCTION from Apple that its customers are not allowed to do so. A new policy only can be applied to new devices or those that are repaired AFTER the new policy becomes effective.

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive