Apple backs down on bricking phones

apple-dalek-2One of the problems with trying a PR “champion of freedom” image is that you cannot appear to be seen as its total opposite in other parts of your business model.

When Apple released an update which bricked the phones of everyone who fixed their phones themselves, or used an unauthorised supplier it faced the wrath of customers and a court case.

Apple and its fanboys justified its actions as being in the interests of fanboys and made sure that their phones contained officially blessed parts. Unfortunately it was pretty clear to everything that it was only in Apple’s interest and it might be in trouble for playing monopoly again.

Apple has issued a new build of iOS that restores iPhones bricked after having third-party repairs.

The Fruity Cargo Cult said a new version of iOS 9.2.1, available over iTunes, will restore mobiles frozen with an ‘Error 53’ message.

To install the fixed version of iOS, users should update their copy of iTunes on their Mac or PC, connect the computer to the iPhone via a USB cable, and force a restart. iTunes should then be able to install the fixed version of iOS via a full device restore.

It is an interesting paradox here. Apple has tons of support for standing up to the FBI and not installing a back door in its software to stop hardware tampering (even if the FBI does not want a back door installed)  and yet they want Apple to dump a feature which prevents tampering by them.

While it would appear that this is the users’ problem it is more to do with the fact that in the first case Apple appears to be mostly standing up for its users’ privacy and in the second it was just standing up for itself.