Apple sued in Australia by regulator for disabling devices repaired by unauthorized firms

- Adrian Ungureanu

Apple is in trouble in Australia as the tech giant is being sued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after Apple disabled hundreds of iPhones and iPads because they were repaired by third party repair shops that were unauthorized.

It seems that the devices would run normally at first until they were updated to iOS 9 and after that they would stop working and show an “error 53” message. Apple, somehow dismissed the hypothesis that it’s a deliberate measure to keep users to repair thier devices in repair shops that don’t have agreements with the company.

Apple admitted that the “error 53” message was designed to be a security check to protect Apple customers. When the components inside the Touch ID module don’t match other components inside an iPhone or iPad, the Touch ID module is disabled. Many unauthorized third party repair firms could not match the components after a repair. Apparently, this violated Australian Consumer Law and the ACCC has gone to court.

It seems that the story isn’t new. For its law suit, the ACCC says that its timeline covers the period from September 2014 through February 2016.