Apple is facing a class action lawsuit after thousands of iPhones are rendered unusable thanks to Error 53.
Error 53 is the message thousands of iPhone users received earlier this month after installing Apple’s newest update iOS 9.
Darrell Cochran, the lawyer behind the case, said in a press release that the error “only rears its ugly head when downloading a newer version of Apple’s operating system.”
The error is only applicable to iPhones that have been fixed at non-Apple repair shops and may cause phones to shut down unexpectedly.
“We let the customer make the choice to go ahead with the repair. It leaves them frustrated and mad because it forces them to go to Apple and consumers don’t like to be forced” – Peter Bowes, CPR Cell Phone Repair
The lawsuit is being filed against Apple for forcing customers to use the company’s own repair outlets instead of reaching out to third-party stores, which are often cheaper.
Apple said in a press release that Error 53 is a security feature put in place to prevent fraudulent use of phones with fingerprint touch ID.
“We take customer security very seriously and 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,” Apple said in the release.
Cochran questioned the legitimacy behind this comment.
“If security was the prime concern then why did the phones work just fine, sometimes for several months, without fixing the software update?” he said in a press release.
Peter Bowes works at CPR Cell Phone Repair in Toronto and said he and his co-workers have come across one customer with the Error 53 message but was unable to help them.
“The problem is that everyone’s been trying to find the cause but there’s no solution,” he said.
Bowes said Apple forcing customers to use its repair outlets is not only bad for businesses like CPR but for consumers as well.
“It leaves the consumer with an absolute lack of choice. It’s not good for the consumer, it’s not good for the market and it’s not good for the competition,” he said.
Bowes said he and his co-workers now take the time to fully explain the risks of repairing a broken screen, flex cable or home button before making the repair.
“We let the customer make the choice to go ahead with the repair. It leaves them frustrated and mad because it forces them to go to Apple and consumers don’t like to be forced,” he said.
PCVA, the law firm behind the suit said their first goal is to get affected customers “re-outfitted” with working phones without costing them too much.