Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch:
Today, Apple is issuing an updated version of iOS 9.2.1 for users that update their iPhones via iTunes only. This update will restore phones ‘bricked’ or disabled by Error 53 and will prevent future iPhones that have had their home button (or the cable) replaced by third-party repair centers from being disabled. Note that this is a patched version of iOS 9.2.1, previously issued, not a brand-new version of iOS.
They’ve also issued a statement to TechCrunch:
We apologize for any inconvenience, this was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers. Customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement.
Numerical error codes are always vastly less preferential to succinct explanations of what went wrong. iTunes is especially full of ambiguous numerical errors — I’ve run into many over the years, with one fairly notable incident. Apple makes available a giant list of plain-English responses to different error codes, so I don’t see why that explanation isn’t in the message itself.