Matthew Panzarino, reporting for 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.
I’m glad Apple did the right thing with this one. There’s no reason your iPhone should be bricked if its Touch ID sensor is tampered with during a home button replacement. Forcing the user to use their passcode in this circumstance is a perfectly reasonable compromise.