iPhone 6 Review
Apple could face lawsuit for error 53 bricking iPhone 6 models IBTimes UK

A Seattle-based firm is currently investigating the potential to file a lawsuit against Apple for error 53 on iPhone 6, which leaves the smartphone at a completely non-functioning state.

The error affects iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models when being repaired at third-party repair service centres, but not that of Apple. The iPhone detects if any new parts have been installed on the phone and when you upgrade it to iOS 9, error 53 occurs, preventing the phone from functioning. According to research by law firm PCVALaw, users cannot recover data once the error hits the device.

The firm believes that Apple could be doing this intentionally, while forcing users to avail of its repair service, which costs way more than what third-party charges.

"We believe Apple may be intentionally forcing users to use their repair services, which cost much more than most third-party repair shops. There is incentive for Apple to keep end users from finding alternative methods to fix their products. Think of it this way: let's say you bought a car, and had your alternator replaced by a local mechanic. Under Apple's strategy, your car would no longer start because you didn't bring it to an official dealership. They intentionally disable your car because you tried to fix it yourself. That is wrong," PCVA notes on its website.

A London-based lawyer, Richard Colbey of Lamb Chambers told Guardian, Apple's reckless policy of killing iPhones following a software upgrade breached basic consumer laws in the UK. It could be viewed as an offence under the Criminal Damage Act 1971.

Colbey said, "It is hard to see how something which ceases to work in this way could be said to be of reasonable quality, one of the determinants of which is durability," he said. The law states: "A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence."

iFixit's Kyle Wiens advises users going in for repairs to ensure that the third-party repair uses all original touch ID sensors, buttons and cables. If you find the home button is faulty, get it repaired only through Apple. Those who cannot had better not replace it. Alternatively, you might consider using the on-screen accessibility button. For any reason, if you have already replaced the home button or any other parts, try avoiding the iOS 9 update.

Apple had earlier advised users to contact Apple support if they encounter the error. It said, "If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support."