Well, those lawsuits may have to wait a while, because Apple has had a change of heart. Following a wave of online anger over the company's position. Apple introduced an update to iOS - version 9.2.1 - that fixes the affected devices. It also released a statement to the influential tech blog, TechCrunch:
"Some customers’ devices are showing ‘Connect to iTunes’ after attempting an iOS update or a restore from iTunes on a Mac or PC. This reports as an Error 53 in iTunes and appears when a device fails a security test. This test was designed to check whether Touch ID works properly before the device leaves the factory.
Today, Apple released a software update that allows customers who have encountered this error message to successfully restore their device using iTunes on a Mac or PC.
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."The company says affected users must apply the iOS 9.2.1 update by physically connecting it to a computer with iTunes. Wireless updates will not work in this case. So if you don't normally tether your device to a computer, you'll have to grab a cable and find a library.
The only other caveat is the TouchID login-with-your-fingerprint capability will not be re-enabled on devices that have third-party screens/home buttons. But at least Apple's offering users a way out, which is light-years ahead of where it was when this story first broke.
Now, if only it could extricate itself from the FBI/privacy/San Bernardino investigation mess just as easily. I'll keep following that one. Watch this space for more.