iPhone 6 ‘disabled’ if Apple detects third-party repairs

The latest software update for iPhone 6 handsets is rendering the devices useless if it detects repairs not carried out by Apple.

The problem is known as “error 53” and has appeared in Apple products before.

The Guardian reports that users’ phones were disabled after the Touch ID home button was repaired by a non-Apple engineer.

Apple has confirmed that the error message is a “security measure” taken to prevent fraudulent transactions.

“We take customer security very seriously and error 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers. iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor in your iPhone or iPad correctly matches your device’s other components,” it said in a statement.

“If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used.

“If a customer encounters error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support.”

In its report, the Guardian cites the experiences of a freelance photographer, Antonio Olmos, who says the problem occurred on his phone after he upgraded its software.

“When Olmos, who says he has spent thousands of pounds on Apple products over the years, took it to an Apple store in London, staff told him there was nothing they could do, and that his phone was now junk,” the paper reported.

Many iPhone 6 customers have been discussing error 53 online.

At Apple’s discussion forums, one user named wallihall wrote: “With this update I’m unable to use the phone, and still have to pay for the phone itself.

“I did get the front screen replaced, and I understand that it’s now considered “tampered with”, but at least let me use my iPhone on the old IOS system… I can’t retrieve old photos or important documents I once had.”

Apple told the paper that iPhone software checks whether any repairs were authorised by Apple.

A spokeswoman said: “When an iPhone is serviced by an unauthorised repair provider, faulty screens or other invalid components that affect the touch ID sensor could cause the check to fail if the pairing cannot be validated.”

General Communications would like to thank all their customers for their continued support in 2014 and we look forward to sharing a successful 2015 with you.

We will be closing for Christmas at 1pm on Wednesday 24th December 2014 and will re-open on Friday 2nd January 2015. Any customers wishing to come in on Christmas Eve please note that we will not be open past 1pm.

We wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The General Communications Team

WiFi Calling now available on EE

Great news! WiFi Calling is now available on the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5c or 5s for all new and some existing users. This great service enables you to call or text over WiFi if you have no signal.

EE are bulk provisioning remaining existing iPhone customers in batches and this will be complete by the end of next week, EE will send a you a message to let you know when this has been done.

Samsung users can also get in on the act, we’ve got some good news there too – from today the service will be available on the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and Galaxy S5. However, there is an issue with the software on the Lumia 640, so there will be a delay in the availability for this device.

Here’s how to enable WiFi Calling on a provisioned device:

Settings> Phone > Wifi Calls > toggle right next to ‘allow WiFi calls’

Phone> More> scroll down and click box next to ‘WiFi Calling’ > click ‘Ok’

Lumia 640
Settings > Mobile + SIM > SIM settings > toggle right next to ‘WiFi Calling’

New Business Extra Promotion

Exciting news, as of today the Business Extra £95 tariff has been reduced to just £45 per month (exc VAT) until August 31st 2015.

This tariff includes:
•    Unlimited UK minutes
•    Unlimited UK texts and picture messages
•    50GB UK Data
•    500MB EU roaming data
•    1200 mins & 1200 texts to and from Europe, USA and the following countries:  Australia, Canada, China, India, Israel, New Zealand, Pakistan, Turkey, US Virgin Islands.

New EE Small Business Roaming Add-on – Now Available

EE’s  new Roaming Add-ons (the Euro Pass and Euro Data Pass) have now gone live.

These new add-ons have the following features:

Euro Pass – Unlimited minutes and texts and 100MB 4G data daily for £3.33/ per day.

Euro Data Pass – 100MB 4G data daily for £2.50 per day.

What happens if 100MB is exceeded in one day?

•Each day, on either bundle you will get 100MB of 4G data (where available).  Once this has been used up, or if you are in an area of no 4G coverage; you can either choose to purchase more 4G data, or you can access up to 400MB 3G data free of charge.

•If you wish to purchase more 4G data then you can buy more at £0.83 for 20MB or £2.50 for 100MB.

•If the slower data is chosen you will be presented with the option to buy faster data every time 50MB is used at the above prices.

What happens once you opt in?

•Once you have opted in, the bundle automatically works each and every day you use your phone abroad in EE’s Europe Zones.

•The charge only applies for the days your phone is used to make calls, receive calls, send texts or use data when you’re in EE’s Europe Zone.

•If your phone’s Data Roaming setting is ON, most smartphones will automatically connect to the internet and the daily charge will be applied.

•‘Daily’ is from 00.00 to midnight UK time.


•Neither pass is available to customers who have monthly data roaming included in their price plan.

•Neither pass is available on shared plans or where YSHAREDLEAD is on an account.

•It is available on Business Connect plans – as individual allowances.

How to opt in

•You can either sign up in the UK or when you are abroad by texting EUROPASS or EURODATAPASS to 150.

•It is also available online, in-store or by calling Customer Services.

•For customers already on £1.67/day UL Europe Zone talk and text – Euro Pass will automatically replace this when you opt in.

•You can remove the pass by texting STOP EUROPASS or STOP EURODATA to 150 or calling Customer Services.

•You will only be charged on the days your phone is used abroad so there is no need to remove it when returning to the UK.

Euro Pass and Euro Data Pass can be used in 39 countries, including overseas dependencies and territories.

The countries included are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican City.

And the overseas dependencies are:

Azores, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion Islands, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.

Vodafone World Traveller – New Countries Added

There are new countries being launched on World Traveller with the provisional date of 1st December. There are some business-centric countries included in the update, notably China, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE and Russia.

Current New (1-Dec)
1 Australia 1 Argentina
2 Egypt 2 Brazil
3 Ghana 3 Canada*
4 India 4 Chile
6 New Zealand 6 China*
6 Qatar 6 Colombia
7 South Africa 7 Congo
8 USA 8 Costa Rica
9 Anguilla 9 Dominican Republic
10 Antigua 10 Ecuador
11 Aruba 11 Guatemala
12 Barbados 12 Hong Kong*
13 Bermuda 13 Indonesia*
14 Bonaire 14 Israel*
16 British Virgin Islands 16 Japan
16 Cayman Islands 16 Kenya
17 Curacao 17 Lesotho
18 Dominica 18 Mexico
19 El Salvador 19 Mozambique
20 Grenada 20 Peru
21 Guyana 21 Puerto Rico
22 Haiti 22 Russia*
23 Jamaica 23 Serbia
24 Panama 24 Singapore *
26 St Kitts and Nevis 26 Thailand*
26 St Lucia 26 UAE*
27 St Vincent 27 Uruguay
28 Suriname 28 US Virgin Islands
29 Trinidad & Tobago
30 Turks & Caicos

Unlimited calls & texts in the EU only £1.67 a day

We are pleased to confirm that the EU daily talk and text bundle is now available for mobile numbers in a shared talk plan on EE small business.  This bundle is great value for money, allowing you to make unlimited calls and texts while abroad in the European Union, for just £1.67 a day (ex. VAT).  In addition to this, you will only be charged on the days you use the bundle.  When you arrive back in the UK, the bundle will deactivate and will be automatically reactivated the next time you go abroad in the EU.

To add the bundle to your number please get in touch with us before you travel.