iOS 9 is bricking iPhones that have unofficial components from third-party repairers

The Guardian on Friday reported that unauthorized third-party repairs to the iPhone 6’s Touch ID Home button will brick the device as soon as iOS 9 is installed. Of course, we all know that using an unauthorized repair service not only voids warranty but puts oneself at risk of having a sub-par component that isn’t sanctioned by Apple.

What’s really worrying about this issue is that many users have been able to use their device perfectly following the repair; it is only when they install Apple’s latest software updates that they see the error, which renders their device useless.

Furthermore, Apple doesn’t even offer a warning to users that their device could stop working if it has had a third-party repair.

Not only are users unable to use their device after updating, but they lose all of the data that was stored on it, too — including pictures and videos. Antonio Olmos, a freelance photographer, found this out the hard way while on an assignment for The Guardian 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.”

“The problem occurs if the repairer changes the Home button or the cable,” he explains. “Following the software upgrade the phone in effect checks to make sure it is still using the original components, and if it isn’t, it simply locks out the phone. There is no warning, and there’s no way that I know of to bring it back to life.”

As a reminder, Apple’s standard 1-year warranty for the iPhone in the United States clearly states that the warranty does not apply to damage “caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider” or if the handset “has been modified to alter functionality or capability” without the written permission of Apple.

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