Restore world, we want your assist.

Some iPhones with third-party batteries can’t replace over the air. Apple help is telling individuals who encounter the issue (like iFixit user TheLidlMan) that they need to’ve gone by means of Apple for restore—however that’s a cop-out reply. We don’t suppose Apple is deliberately sabotaging third-party restore right here, however we’ve seen this sort of error too many occasions to let it go.

We all know this error exhibits up typically, however we’re unsure precisely when. So we’re coming to you to unravel it. If this has occurred to you, please let us know via this form.

Right here’s What We Know

We acquired the primary inklings of this downside over the summer time, when some trade pals of ours in Europe informed us that they had been encountering an error when attempting to replace replaced-battery iPhones. Some iPhones wouldn’t replace to the most recent model of iOS, throwing a “now not related to the web” error:

“Unable to Confirm Replace: iOS XX.X.X failed verification since you are now not related to the Web.”

With some testing, our pals narrowed it down a bit: They solely had the difficulty with over-the-air updates of iPhones 11 and up, and solely on telephones with EU serial numbers, not telephones from the US or Asia.

We despatched them a batch of our batteries for each telephone for the reason that iPhone 11, and a few of them (however not all of them!) threw the identical error. Nonetheless, although, the error solely appeared on EU telephones. 

Amber acquired this similar error repeatedly, on knowledge and on a number of completely different wi-fi networks. She was capable of get round it by plugging her telephone into a pc and putting in the replace that method.

Over the subsequent few months, we heard about remoted recurrences of the difficulty on iFixit Answers and in different forum posts.

Then, this month, the issue hit nearer to iFixit HQ residence: Our neighborhood supervisor, Amber, tried to replace her iPhone 12 Professional, which had a battery she’d replaced, to iOS 17.0.3. Ahoy, the mysterious “now not related to the Web” error. Our tech writing crew investigated by updating a “vanilla” iPhone 12 with a changed battery—the identical error popped up.

The primary time she noticed the error, Amber says, she figured it should have had one thing to do along with her residence web connection. She tried once more on the workplace, however no luck. Solely after she’d tried redownloading the replace and downgrading her telephone (which resulted in the identical error), did she discover the precise repair: Putting in the replace through iTunes when her telephone was plugged into a pc through a USB cable.

Repair It? Sideloading.

Fortunately, the issue solely appears to be with over-the-air updates. Amber was capable of replace her telephone by sideloading the update through iTunes. She used a Mac, however it’s best to be capable of do the same thing with a PC.

The method is fairly easy: Plug in your telephone to your laptop, go to iTunes, click on the System button within the high left, click on “Examine for Replace,” after which “Obtain and Replace.”

Bear in mind, it’s all the time a good suggestion to again up your machine earlier than you start an replace.  

The Ghost of Error 53

This isn’t the primary time we’ve seen iPhones with third-party elements throw an error when attempting to replace. Again in 2016, a bunch of iPhones had been bricked by Error 53, which affected iPhone 6 and 6 Plus customers who’d changed their residence button/cable on their very own or by means of a third-party restore tech.

The story was related: For no matter purpose, somebody would exchange their show, together with the house button cable. New show assemblies normally included a substitute residence button cable as a result of it sped up the set up. After the restore, every little thing would work nice for some time. Then, when the consumer would go to replace their telephone’s working system, they’d get the dreaded “Error 53” and the telephone could be bricked. 

Sadly, Error 53 couldn’t be mounted by sideloading the replace. We might solely advise that folks reinstall their outdated residence button and use a digital residence button as a substitute. After months of frustration, Apple ultimately launched a software update that mounted the issue.

We’ve seen it occur repeatedly: In 2017, upgrading to iOS 11 broke the touchscreen input on iPhone 6s with non-original shows. On the finish of March 2018, equally, an improve to iOS 11.3 bricked iPhone 8s phones repaired with aftermarket screens till the issue was addressed in IOS 11.3.1 launched 4 weeks later.

Amber realized her battery wanted changing when she observed that her display was bulging out, because of the spicy pillow inside. Batteries have a restricted cost cycle lifespan, so each telephone will want a brand new battery after just a few years.

Is Apple Making an attempt to Block Third-Social gathering Restore?

After we seemed into the iOS 11 bug in 2018, we concluded that Apple in all probability was solely by chance sabotaging third-party restore. Once more, this “unable to confirm replace” error doesn’t appear to be a deliberate try on Apple’s half to dam non-original batteries. It will be a really clumsy try, provided that customers can get round it by putting in the replace by means of iTunes. And, in spite of everything, requiring customers to purchase solely Apple elements for repairs could be a violation of US legislation (specifically the Sherman Act; Kodak acquired in huge bother for this in 1992). 

Nonetheless, they’re undoubtedly benefitting from the way in which it scares customers away from third-party restore. We’ve related complaints about elements pairing, which causes the function loss and fear-mongering warnings that pop up once you exchange a battery, display, or many different elements in trendy iPhones, with out having purchased the half new from Apple instantly.

Think about you’re a restore store that has spent years build up your status, standing by your work and going above and past to guarantee your repairs. What do you say when a buyer’s telephone breaks a month after you repaired it? Irrespective of how good you might be at your job, that buyer is more likely to go to the Apple Retailer when you can’t assure the elements you put in will preserve working.

Disgrace on Apple—particularly since they only came out in support of a nationwide US Proper to Restore legislation. 

We don’t have any thought what the underlying trigger is right here. However the “unable to confirm replace” is a clue that our units are phoning residence to the mothership extra typically than we expect. That is an instance of why we expect repairs shouldn’t require web entry in any respect: A system that validates elements through the web could cause unknown issues going ahead. As a lot as we wish them to, Apple will in all probability by no means take a look at a wide selection of third-party elements once they take a look at new software program updates. Till then, one of the best ways for them to make sure that this form of downside doesn’t occur is to eradicate these types of checks.

Assist Us Maintain Monitor

If you happen to’ve encountered this error, we’d love for you to tell us about what occurred—what sort of telephone you will have, once you changed your battery, what replace you had been attempting to put in, and whether or not you had been capable of repair it by sideloading through iTunes. If you happen to’ve had different points with third-party elements for any machine, let us know by email

It takes a village to carry producers accountable to the more-fixable world all of us wish to see.

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