Apple fined $6.6 million after iPhones and iPads stopped working because they had third-party parts


An Australian court has fined Apple $9 million AUD (about $6.6 million USD) for its refusal to fix iPhones and iPads that had previously been repaired with third-party parts. Users reached out to Apple for help when their phones were bricked by “Error 53,” a software update that made phones repaired by outside parties inoperable.

Apple says it misled at least 275 Australian customers whose devices were affected by telling them they were not eligible for repairs. The company has since reached out to 5,000 affected customers, according to Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission.

Apple told The Verge in 2016 — when the error first showed up — that it was the result of “security checks” to make sure a legitimate Touch ID sensor was being used. “If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled.” Essentially, the errors showed up due to a link disruption between Touch ID and the company’s Secure Enclave — although the whole device was affected, not just the touch sensor. Apple later issued its own fix for the problem.

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