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Apple changes iPhone screws to deter DIY repairs, mods

By Matthew ยท 35 replies
Jan 20, 2011
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  1. It's no secret that Apple frowns on customers performing DIY repairs and mods, and it seems that stance won't be changing in the near future. According to iFixit, the company has started using proprietary tamper-resistant "Pentalobe" screws that sort of resemble the familiar Torx format except they have five rounded points instead of six sharp ones.

    Read the whole story
  2. Try defending this one apple zealots
  3. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,674

    How did ifixit get their hands on the screwdrivers so fast if they're supposedly "rare and expensive"?
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 5,270   +103

    The iPhone 4 has been out for nearly seven months. Seems like enough time to make arrangements if you ask me.
  5. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,674

    So these screwdrivers were intended more for the EU iphones that started with the screws. That makes more sense.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,546   +430

    There is probably a factory in China already mass producing these, so they won't be rare and expensive for long.

    I bet you can take the right size flathead screwdriver and unscrew these new heads anyway. I've been opening dead hard drives for years that way. If they really wanted to make it difficult to open they would have created a "pentalobe security" head.
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    I'm guessing the "average" user won't consider using a flat-head screwdriver instead of the real tool.

    Seems a bit pointless really, as it'll be easily overcome - the Chinese are good at that! :haha:
  8. Nintendo did it and still does it. Lots of companies use special security bits. They're easy enough to find. By now, I'm sure there are Chinese makers selling them on ebay, as mentioned before. Because it's Apple, everyone has to point the finger and say "That's the bad guy!" <--See what I did there?
  9. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,057   +1,491

    Sheesh...any kid in high school metal shop could make one of those. I honestly don't know why Apple is so paranoid about DIY repair attempts. I'd bet half the people trying a DIY repair end up permanently breaking their iPhone rather than fixing it anyway.
  10. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

  11. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,007   +18

    Yeah, but people aren't going to "chip" their iPhone they way you'd "chip" your game console.

    This isn't a move to stop people from playing pirated games on their consoles, its to prevent people from making small fixes to their phone so that they can instead charge them an arm and a leg to do the same thing themselves.

    Smart from a business standpoint, but I see a difference between console makers trying to stop loss of profits due to piracy rather than Apple trying to make even more profits by forcing its users to go to them for repairs.
  12. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 509   +12

    One more reason I'd never own an Apple product.
  13. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,372   +17

    I see people pointing out this nonsense from other companies too, but it does seem like Apple gets the bigger headlines.
  14. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,674

    Because apple has more nonsense to point out :p
  15. Mikymjr

    Mikymjr TS Booster Posts: 124   +17

    Why not search for screw drivers made for nitro RC cars, cause they have a lot of accessoires. They have like almost all configurations of screwdrivers =P
  16. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    They don't help themselves admittedly, but I tend to find the biggest basher of their products haven't ever even used them.

    I'm not by any means a Apple fanboy, but I do own Apple products, and they are quality items, and last very well. In a sense I find myself caught between two worlds.. The world of Apple (and its expensive ways), and the world of the PC (Windows and Linux), and its infinite extensible ways.

    I have to say Linux is winning out of all of them now. My iMac gets rarely used, and my PC's Windows install is really only used for gaming these days as well.

    Though I'll be the first to admit I much prefer Android to the iPhone (and I own both, though my wife now uses the 3GS since her phone broke!).
  17. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,372   +17

    I find it to be pretty equal, just that what they do tends to sting more with the geeks than mainstream.
  18. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,674

    Yah. I wasn't being completely serious. I think what people dislike is how apple feels they should be allowed to control a product that YOU own. But what these people don't acknowledge is that nobody forces them to buy an iphone or ipod touch.
  19. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Guru Posts: 377   +6

    I fix Apple products for a living and I find this one particularly irritating. It just means that they want everyone to send the products back to the apple "geniuses" or something, and have them charge 10000 bucks extra while laughing themselves silently.

    This is the 5 Spoke Star, not the pentalobe. Arguably however, you could use a small sized 5 star spoke to open this one um...

    Btw, I have this:

    And nothing really stops me from opening stuff up. You can't really use a flat head screwdriver however to open the 5 star pentalobe. Notice that there wouldn't be any good places to "catch" onto the screw.

    At most, you risk damaging the head of the screw, and voila, you have a screw that can't be removed. Forever. Well, not forever, but you get the drift.
  20. aj_the_kidd

    aj_the_kidd TS Rookie Posts: 555

    Damn Apples getting into the hardware industry lol, throw away your flathead and phillips head screw driver, the iPentalobe is the future. Ahh Apple, you're for good for a laugh, thankyou.
  21. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,765   +373

    That's a good point. I bet you could open it with a different security bit still.
  22. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Evangelist Posts: 377   +111

    Just another reason I'd never own an Apple product.
  23. While I understand and respect Apple's business decision and also acknowledge their branding expertise [Steve Jobs], I think this might be a bit much. Many of the iSheep I know, through various Computer Science classes, have modified their Apple products. This type of marketing will be harmful to this specialized segment which will go on into the professional world.

    Different strokes for different folks. I'm a Windows guy because I like having options. If you want to be told what to do, pick Apple! I jest... the build quality is awesome... but I personally don't think that it it worth the saturated hardware prices.
  24. Sarcasm

    Sarcasm TS Guru Posts: 380   +47

    Apple "screwing" people, who's surprised. har har har
  25. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,745   +1,144

    And Apple continues to give more money to external companies that make hacking products =)

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