Apple changes iPhone screws to deter DIY repairs, mods

Matthew

TS Evangelist
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.

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Matthew

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

princeton

TS Addict
Matthew said:
The iPhone 4 has been out for nearly seven months. Seems like enough time to make arrangements if you ask me.
So these screwdrivers were intended more for the EU iphones that started with the screws. That makes more sense.
 

SNGX1275

TS Forces Special
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.
 

Leeky

TS Evangelist
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:
 
J

Jibberish18

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?
 

TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
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.
 

gwailo247

TechSpot Chancellor
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.
 

Relic

TechSpot Chancellor
Jibberish18 said:
Because it's Apple, everyone has to point the finger
I see people pointing out this nonsense from other companies too, but it does seem like Apple gets the bigger headlines.
 

Mikymjr

TS Booster
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
 

Leeky

TS Evangelist
Because apple has more nonsense to point out :p
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!).
 

Relic

TechSpot Chancellor
Princeton said:
Relic said:
Jibberish18 said:
Because it's Apple, everyone has to point the finger
I see people pointing out this nonsense from other companies too, but it does seem like Apple gets the bigger headlines.
Because apple has more nonsense to point out :p
I find it to be pretty equal, just that what they do tends to sting more with the geeks than mainstream.
 

princeton

TS Addict
Relic said:
Princeton said:
Relic said:
Jibberish18 said:
Because it's Apple, everyone has to point the finger
I see people pointing out this nonsense from other companies too, but it does seem like Apple gets the bigger headlines.
Because apple has more nonsense to point out :p
I find it to be pretty equal, just that what they do tends to sting more with the geeks than mainstream.
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.
 

HaMsTeYr

TS Guru
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:
http://img.alibaba.com/img/pb/092/555/303/303555092_020.jpg

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.
 

aj_the_kidd

TS Rookie
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.
 

Trillionsin

TS Evangelist
SNGX1275 said:
If they really wanted to make it difficult to open they would have created a "pentalobe security" head.
That's a good point. I bet you could open it with a different security bit still.
 
G

Guest

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.