The latest glitch hitting Apple’s iPhone 6 users who have had their handsets fixed with almost worthless phones.
Thousands have been hit by the “error 53” problem caused by Apple’s latest operating system, according to The Guardian.
The error means the system permanently disables the handset if it detects a repair has been carried out by a non-Apple technician.
One specialist journalist told The Guardian the error “will kill your iPhone”.
The problem seems to affect phones where the home button, which has in-built ID fingerprint recognition, has been fixed by someone who is not an official Apple repair person.
It has also reportedly affected customers whose phone has been damaged but who have been able to carry on using it without repairs.
Strangely, the problem presents itself when the tech giant’s latest software is installed, the iOS 9.
The Guardian has reported that thousands have been affected by error 53. As well as their handset becoming almost worthless, those affected have also lost data and photos stored in the phone.
Freelance photographer and self-confessed Apple addict Antonio Olmos told the British publication he was hit by the problem a few weeks ago after upgrading his iPhone’s operating system.
Olmos had previously had his handset repaired while on an assignment in Macedonia.
“I was in the Balkans covering the refugee crisis in September when I dropped my phone.
“Because I desperately needed it for work I got it fixed at a local shop, as there are no Apple stores in Macedonia.
“They repaired the screen and home button, and it worked perfectly,” he told The Guardian.
His phone worked fine following the repair but died after he installed the new software.
“The whole thing is extraordinary. How can a company deliberately make their own products useless with an upgrade and not warn their own customers about it?”
Others also affected by the error have posted about their experiences in online forums.
A spokeswoman for Apple told The Guardian (get ready for a jargon overload): “We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave, which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor.
“When iPhone is serviced by an authorised Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the touch ID sensor, the pairing is re-validated.
“This check ensures the device and the iOS features related to touch ID remain secure.
“Without this unique pairing, a malicious touch ID sensor could be substituted, thereby gaining access to the secure enclave. When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure.”
She adds: “When an iPhone is serviced by an unauthorised repair provider, faulty screens or other invalid components that affect the touch ID sensor could cause the check to fail if the pairing cannot be validated.
“With a subsequent update or restore, additional security checks result in an ‘error 53’ being displayed … If a customer encounters an unrecoverable error 53, we recommend contacting Apple support.”