Apple sued by Australian regulators over bricked iPhones

Touch ID sensors on multiple iPhones
Touch ID sensors on multiple iPhones (Image credit: iMore)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is suing Apple over a software update last year that bricked the phones of several customers who had previously had a cracked screen or Touch ID button fixed at a third-party repair shop. The ACCC seems to think that the update was at least partially issued in order to force customers into using Apple or Apple-approved repair centers.

From Reuters:

Apple engaged in "misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations to consumers" about its software updates and customers' rights to have their products repaired by the company, the commission said.

The ACCC is seeking fines and injunctions against Apple, and wants the company to be made to partake in a compliance program so something like this doesn't happen.

This lawsuit likely stems from an issue that was seen last year known as "Error 53", which cropped up in a particular update to iOS 9. The error made iPhones that had been repaired by third parties unusable when iOS detected that the Touch ID sensor in affected iPhones and iPads did not match the other parts in the device.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

3 Comments
  • They should've just bricked the TouchID parts. I get why they did it, since they couldn't trust results with another TouchID sensor on it, but give users the warning, don't just brick it.
  • Just another way for Apple to suck more cash out of its customers.
  • Why now? Why didn't they do it last year? Isaiah Heart.