Apple Using Special New Screws So You Can't Open Your iPhone

from the screw-you dept

One of the interesting questions we've been looking at for years is whether or not a business is an enabler or a gatekeeper. Being in the gatekeeper business can work for a period of time, but it's often difficult to sustain. Apple is an interesting company in that it certainly has elements of both, enabling in some areas, but being a very strict gatekeeper in other areas. As if to reinforce this point, Apple is apparently changing the screws on iPhones to make them much harder to open. Apparently, it's come up with a "pentalobe" design:
Not only that, but if you bring in your iPhone for repairs, Apple will replace the old screws with these new pentalobe screws to keep you from... well... screwing around. The whole thing seems really incredibly pointless. First of all, those who really want to open the phones will figure out ways to do so. I would guess that it won't take long for tools that work on such screws to hit the market. All this really does is frustrate iPhone owners by making life difficult for them. What possible good does it serve to have a non-standard screw system?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    johnjac (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Device over user

    This is a clear cut way that demonstrates that Apple #1 concern isn't what's best for the user, but what is best for the device. While this is frustrating for some users (me included) it does somehow seem to work for them.

    To paraphrase a Job's quote "It isn' the users responsibility to know what they need/want"

    I'm just glad that Android is a choice.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    A pointless excersise on Apple's part as the tools are already available.
    http://www.ifixit.com/search?x=0&y=0&text=pentalobe

     

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  3.  
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    Buster, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Kind of a waste...

    This just means more money out of Apple's pocket. I've already located about 7 LOCAL sources selling the required screw-driver. What a joke. So apple is now forced to pay more money to prevent their customers from tampering with their purchased hardware. Smart Apple, quite smart.

     

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  4.  
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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re:

    So what you're saying is they've really screwed up?

     

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  5.  
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    known coward,, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re:

    well they certainly do not have a screw loose.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Manipulating a device to add recurring revenue streams and vendor lock-in? From Apple? I refuse to believe it.

    There'd be nothing to gain from using proprietary components. It's not like there's a history of people using open components to build competing devices out of their garage.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    screwed the pooch?

     

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  8.  
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    TPBer (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Apple Repairs are a Joke

    On Dec 24, 2010 I visited an Apple store (North Star) in San Antonio to have my unruly trackpad checked out. I was given an early appointment. They said they would replace the trackpad for $51.00 parts & $39.00 labor, I gave the go ahead. I went back 29 days later to have the repair checked out because it seemed worse than the original, and they called back and once again said it was fixed. I took the Macbook pro back home used it for about 1 hour and realized the problem is still there and somewhat worse with extended use. Went back for a third time they said they would replace it, once again to make sure it was not a hardware issue. Just picked it up today to only find out that this time was the only time they actually replaced the trackpad even though I was charged initially for a new one, the tech only attempted to adjust the original so says the Genius.

    They even kept my original receipt and gave me back a bad photocopy.

    The whole incident felt like a bad car repair

     

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  9.  
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    John Doe, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:42am

    You are blaming the wrong company...

    This is not entirely Apple's fault. They have given in to the Craftsman tool empire and developed a new tool. I am sure you will be able to get a set at Sears for $19.95 very soon.

    Surely you are familiar with the power Craftsman holds over the tool industry? Why else do you think the US has not switched to metric? So that Sears can sell twice as many tools. ;)

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nah. They're just screwing around.

    And from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar":

    "We shall meet at Phillipsi."

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    Kudos to Techdirt

    Kudos for being the only article I read on this topic to not quote iFixit's owner or provide a link to their website selling the pentalobe screwdriver. While this is a concerning issue, basing your article around someone with an obvious conflict of interest isn't great from a journalistic standpoint.

    Good job, as usual.

     

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  12.  
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    John Doe II, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    All Electronic companies do it

    I had to but a special screw driver from Nintendo to open up out Wii Box. My son put something in the disk slot. The toll cost $9.99 from Nintendo.

     

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  13.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Not so fast

    They're not necessarily replacing your *screws,* since their MO is to replace the phone entirely. (They then fix the phone/computer/whatever and offer it up as a refurb.)

    As for the new, proprietary screws, that may well be an attempt to keep within FCC guidelines (there's a ton of back-and-forth on that. I'm not even going to attempt to make sense of it.)

    So, no you can't currently get pentalobe screwdrivers. You may or may not be able to get them soon. You CAN get a 'close enough for one use' tool from iFixit which will enable you to replace them.

    I'm guessing nobody's totally happy at this point.

     

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  14.  
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    Danny, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    So those new screws are already screwed eh?

    That's not good.

     

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  15.  
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    Eric Aitala, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Here is a question - before the iPhone existed, how many people out there disassembled their phone?

    And if you did, are/were you not such a geek that's you'd gladly spend a few dollars to have the new geeky tool that you'd need to open the iPhone?

    I mean its only $3...

    This is a non-story.

    Eric

     

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  16.  
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    TriZzz, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Answer:

    "What possible good does it serve to have a non-standard screw system?"

    Ummm...to screw us over?!

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Re: You are blaming the wrong company...

    You say it's not entirely Apple's fault when Apple had to say OK to the idea and all that other stuff. Get your face out of Apple's lap, it's Apple's fault.
    Apple could have easily used the standard Phillips or flat-head screw, instead then went a few steps further.

     

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  18.  
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    Zacqary Adam Green (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Re:

    Why must repair of your own electronics be a geeky thing to do, though? Millions of people change the oil on their own cars or fix leaks in their own faucets, both of which are much more involved processes than replacing a circuit board in a phone.

    Disassembling your phone is a geeky thing to do now, and with this, Apple is stating their intention to keep it that way. Instead of empowering people to understand and master technology, they choose to keep the masses ignorant for their own "convenience".

    Why?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Not so fast

    "So, no you can't currently get pentalobe screwdrivers. You may or may not be able to get them soon. You CAN get a 'close enough for one use' tool from iFixit which will enable you to replace them."

    These screwdrivers are already widely available, despite what iFixit claims. Here are two examples from Amazon, which I drummed up in about five seconds:

    http://www.amazon.com/Pentalobe-Screwdriver-iPhone-generation-Silverhill/dp/B004IU9EDM

    http://www.amazon.com/Pentalobe-Screwdriver-Size-Repair-iPhone/dp/B004KDEWTS

     

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  20.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Know what I say to them? SCREW YOU!!!

     

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  21.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    All Connectors and Similar Devices Should be Standard

    There are times when the "free-market" fails us. It amazes me that the "free-market" can amazingly come together in the spirit of cooperation to produce a universal DRM for DVDs but then can't seem to get its act together for screws and power cords!

    Regretfully, this seems to be a case of necessary government regulation. The use of proprietary screws, power cords, and connectors hurts both the economy and the individual.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    This just in!

    This just in!

    Steve Jobs has bought a lot of stock in companies producing Pentalobe screwdrivers!

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    Don't you see the AMAZING opportunities given by Apple for new businesses ?
    Thank to Apple, the monopoly of a few screw designers is down, in fact they OPENED the locked market of screwdrivers !
    Think of all these jobs that this decision will create in various fields : Designing screwdrivers, building factories, operating factories...

     

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  24.  
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    John Doe, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: You are blaming the wrong company...

    Wow, the joke went right over your head. Maybe I should use a winky, smiley face to indicate when I am kidding. Oh wait, I did.

     

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  25.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Not so fast

    "These screwdrivers are already widely available, despite what iFixit claims"

    There's a lot of caution about these drivers, since none of them show a closeup of the head. They may be nothing more than what iFixit is selling, without the truth in advertising. Or they may be the real deal. It's unsure at this point.

     

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  26.  
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    hegemon13, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    Re: All Connectors and Similar Devices Should be Standard

    "...and power cords!"

    Actually, a large number of mobile phone manufacturers have agreed on standardized phone chargers, using a standardized voltage and amperage, and a micro-USB socket.

    Besides, this isn't the "free market" failing anybody. This is competition. If you want a device with non-proprietary parts, you can buy something else. It's not like Apple is the only option for a mobile phone. That's what the free market is about: options.

     

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  27.  
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    Aaron, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Refurb

    My guess is that they did this because they don't want customers opening up the devices when they break and further break them. They would rather just replace the device with a new one and send the broken one back to be refurbished. Then they can do the refurbish faster, because you did not break more things when you opened it, and make more money on selling the refurbished phone.

     

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  28.  
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    ComputerAddict (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Security Screws

    Once again the industry comes up with a "Security Screw" that can be defeated with the properly sized flat head screw driver, and the correct amount of pressure... good job.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not so fast

    "There's a lot of caution about these drivers, since none of them show a closeup of the head."

    You're absolutely right on this point. I did not intend to show those two links as reputable sellers, but rather to demonstrate that alternatives to iFixit's screwdriver exist. My original point still stands, which is that iFixit is grossly exaggerating the unavailability of this screwdriver.

     

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  30.  
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    Jason, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    Touché.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    This shouldn't come as any great surprise - the latest iMac models require a fscking suction cup to remove the LCD screen before you can so much as take out your hard drive.

     

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  32.  
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    Jason, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are blaming the wrong company...

    Yeah, it still doesn't make any sense even after you've spelled it out.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    Indeed, they are all over the place: http://goo.gl/SVs3c

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    Indeed, they are all over the place: http://goo.gl/SVs3c

     

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  35.  
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    PRMan, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Re: All Electronic companies do it

    I found a flat screwdriver that I could put in diagonally. After getting the system apart, I realized that the reason I couldn't get the Wii to spit out the game is because in my tiredness I had accidentally put it in the PS3. Oops.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Kudos to Techdirt

    Translation: "Blah, blah, blah, I have nothing to add. I'm a bitter shut-in that hates everyone." Oh yeah, and , , and .

    Rawr!

     

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  37.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not so fast

    "My original point still stands, which is that iFixit is grossly exaggerating the unavailability of this screwdriver."

    Well, iFixit states that the driver they're selling isn't an actual pentalobe, it's just a workalike (i.e., close enough for one use.) I suspect that the other retailers are just not quite as upfront about what they're selling.

     

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  38.  
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    Nick, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Suddenly this is a big deal?

    How many countless products before the iPhone had weird screws like this? Videogame consoles and/or cartridges, portable CD and cassette players, irons or other appliances, etc. This is kind of a decades old thing isn't it? So why is it that because it's an Apple product it is suddenly an insidious way for those dastardly folks in Cupertino to screw your phone (and you)? (to use the language of the BoingBoing/iFixit headlines I saw last week)

    So, iFixit finds (manufactures) a HUGE problem that, conveniently enough, can be solved very easily by sending them $10 for a "liberation kit". Wow, that is so compelling I can't even think straight right now.

     

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  39.  
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    DCL, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is lame... screw it I am out of here

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Kudos to Techdirt

    I think it's ironic that you're criticizing my comment for not adding anything to the conversation, by posting a reply that doesn't add anything to the conversation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re:

    actually it's apple screwing their customers.

    meanwhile, you're screwed if they put in these screws - it's not a very good screw design.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not so fast

    I'm sure that you're right about many of the sellers out there, including probably the two links I posted.

    At this point, I think we're mostly agreeing with each other, but just for fun, here's a link to iFixit's purchase page which does not make it clear that this is a "workalike."

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not so fast

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re: Kudos to Techdirt

    Well it's nice to see that someone can make a living doing it.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Greg G, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Apple Repairs are a Joke

    Thanks for that report. As someone that goes to North Star on very rare occasions, I have yet another reason to avoid Apple products and especially that Apple Store.

    The other question is.. wtf were you doing at North Star on Christmas eve? 410/281 and that general area had to be an absolute nightmare!

     

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  46.  
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    Greg G, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Kudos to Techdirt

    I like tacos.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Replacing screws

    I can guess the reason why they replace the screws.

    On at least the N900 (which by the way uses a more common screw type), if you remove and replace the same screw a few times, the screw will break (as reported on a few forum posts floating around the Internet). The service manual (which one can find floating on the Internet if one looks hard enough) says explicitly that the removed screws should always be discarded and replaced by new ones. That is, the screw is much more fragile than the part it is in. Which makes sense if you stop to think about it - it is much better to have to replace the very inexpensive screw every time you do maintenance on the part, than to risk wearing out the screw hole threads on the more expensive body part, so the screw is designed with less hardness (the N900, much like the iPhone, is an expensive phone).

    So what probably is happening with the iPhone is quite simple. The service manual probably says explicitly to discard the used screws and replace with new ones (else the screws would end up breaking). ALL the new screws for that part are of the new uncommon type. So, whenever the phone is opened, the screws get replaced with the new "special" ones. No malice needed to explain the screw replacement.

    The place where one could find malice, then, is only in the choice of the new kind of screw for that particular set of screw holes.

     

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  48.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Apple Repairs are a Joke

    NEVER let the store do the repair. Ask for them to send it in for a depot repair. 99% of the time we get the machine back within 24 hours.

    "even though I was charged initially for a new one, the tech only attempted to adjust the original so says the Genius."
    Call Apple directly and report them.
    http://www.apple.com/support/contact/

     

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  49.  
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    Jiminy Cricket (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Suddenly this is a big deal?

    You are missing the point. If I need my sleep button repaired, and I go to an Apple Store, they take out my PERFECTLY WORKING phillips screws, and replace them with pentalobes. Why? Why is there a need to take an affirmative action that PREVENTS me from repairing the device on my own in the future? If my home button breaks, I can fix that easy. Well, except in my above example, they removed the screws I could remove, and replaced them with ones I cannot. That is the definition of a jerk move.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Suddenly this is a big deal?

    See my other comment; it is possible that, after being removed, the screw is not "perfectly working" anymore.

     

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  51.  
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    Michael Long (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Suddenly this is a big deal?

    As mentioned above, if you're phone is broken they probably will not fix it in the store. They'll swap SIM cards and give you a new (probably refurbished) phone.

    And funny how you mention the home button, as that may well be the ONLY part you could possibly fix on your own. Unless you have a stock of proprietary iPhone motherboards, displays, and batteries on hand, of course.

     

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  52.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re:

    Well, most people did think they could change the batteries on their devices.

     

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  53.  
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    Michael Long (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Device over user

    What's best for most users is to bring the phone in for repair by an authorized dealer and not make matters worse by opening it up in a dusty, non-static-free environment.

    The Retina screen is custom, the motherboard is custom, the battery is custom, and all of them are shoehorned into a space that couldn't even hold a spare business card. In short, there's practically NOTHING a typical user (or even a typical geek) could repair or replace anyway.

     

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  54.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    speaking of proprietary fasteners, I've always wondered why many public restroom facilities have one way screws (right turn only). Of all the things that need to be protected fro thieves, restroom walls and doors don't seem like they would be high on their priority list of things to steal and sell.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Device over user

    In short, there's practically NOTHING a typical user (or even a typical geek) could repair or replace anyway.

    So? Maybe I bought the phone so that I can look at the pretty insides. Does this mean I don't actually own my own phone hardware when I buy it?

     

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  56.  
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    TPBer (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Apple Repairs are a Joke

    It was a nightmare but I really wanted to fix the trackpad since they said they would actually replace it, I should have been suspicious of the alleged Genius :)

    They actually wanted to give me a refund by having me drive from the Schertz area (20 miles round trip) so they could credit my card, I replied by telling them to keep the money and I will report this on TechDirt.

    Maybe this will get their attention.

     

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  57.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Kudos to Techdirt

    What's ironic, is that you're saying kudos to the site, while you actually mean the opposite. Like, irony. Then you get an ironic comment about how useless your irony is. Then you point that it's ironic that the comment that mimics your useless comment, is useless.

     

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  58.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Kudos to Techdirt

    Wow, I just did irony myself! Life is so exciting.

     

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  59.  
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    TPBer (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Apple Repairs are a Joke

    I did report it and specifically requested no contact from that store in any way. Guess what, 20 min. later the store manager called and tried to back pedal saying they did replace it even after the tech this am told me all the initial tech did was to attempt to readjust the orig.

    I should have asked for the original part just like I would to an unknown auto mechanic.

     

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  60.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    If all you have is a pentalobe, everything looks like you want to smash it with a hammer.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Kudos to Techdirt

    "What's ironic, is that you're saying kudos to the site, while you actually mean the opposite."

    How do I actually mean the opposite? My post was not sarcastic. I really did mean to give kudos to Techdirt for not including iFixit's spurious claims like all of the other articles I read.

    Again, my original comment was not sarcastic. Are you so thin-skinned that you see an attack in a comment that only makes positive remarks?

    Jesus Christ, I regret trying to make a nice, honest statement on the fucking internet.

     

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  62.  
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    Michael Long (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Device over user

    Tear open your new car's transmission. It's prettier.

     

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  63.  
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    Michael Long (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 3:15pm

    Re:

    Steal... perhaps not. Vandalize, yes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not so fast

    Oh for christs sake, just jam a jewelers flat blade in it and turn it with a pair of pliers while pushing down.
    its just a screw. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
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    Cynyr (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Device over user

    I would just like to point out that just about every other smartphone sold these days has a user accessible battery. With daily charge cycles(probably the norm on the iPhone as well) how long will the battery continue to hold a charge? With my phone I simply buy a new battery from a host of suppliers and go on with my day. Also I can buy a second battery, keep it charged, and be back up and running in the time it takes to reboot the phone. Not 3-5 hours while the phone charges, longer if all i have is normal computer based USB to charge from.

    BTW, the MT4G(t-mobile MyTouch 4g) is only 1.6mm thicker than an iphone4, it is, however, slightly wider.

    iPhone 4: 5.4"x2.31"x0.37" 4.8oz 4.6153 cu-in
    MT4G: 4.8"x2.44"x0.43" 5.4oz 5.0361 cu-in

    Overall there is 0.4 cu-in more space in my phone and under the cover is access to the uSD card, and SIM.

    So in short apart from making the phone very very slightly smaller there is not reason for the non-removable battery, or the lack of uSD storage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
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    Cynyr (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Kudos to Techdirt

    I like labradoodles. OHH! and mint ice cream...


    Anyone want to take a nap?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    One reason why they are doing this:

    To detect phone tampering.

    Lets say you buy a phone and then open it up and mess with it, and you fry it. You take it back to the store and say it fried, they replace it under warranty.

    With these kind of screws, they can see tool marks and tell the phone has been opened and potentially tampered with, and investigate further.

    I wouldn't be shocked if they are doing it due to an increase in insurance claims on them or something as well. I know of a few people who have had older phones who wanted to trade up, and couldn't, so they purposely broke the phone in a way that wasn't obvious to collect the insurance on it.

    Ok, its a bit far fetched, but if there is a sudden increase in returns and stuff, doing something like this could be to make sure the returns are for legit problems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    fred payne, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 4:38pm

    Dr. Who and Apple

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Device over user

    You have successfully refuted the point! You win 10 interwebs!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    fred payne, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 4:45pm

    Dr. Who and Apple

    I can unscrew those thing with just a regular flathead screwdriver. Look at the geometry of the lobes, figure it out ;)
    whataya think of them Apples?
    Dr. Who

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are blaming the wrong company...

    So that makes two people with no sense of humor.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 5:51pm

    Apple doesn't have a point. Only the screws do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Nick, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Suddenly this is a big deal?

    No, I am not missing the point of the article. I understand perfectly well that people do not like the weird screws, and I understand WHY they do not like them. However, I was not commenting on the morality of pentalobe screws. I was asking why it is suddenly such a huge issue.

    If you read some of the headlines last week and watched the iFixit video, you would think that these screws mark the entrance into all-new territory of corporate evil. They were actually using language like "diabolical" and "insidious" and bullshit like that. Fortunately, the comments on these websites were choke full of artfully constructed arguments and presented with great tact and consideration. *eye roll*

    I was asking why, after many years of many companies making many products that have weird screws and are difficult to take apart and so on, is this suddenly some new level of evil being imposed on customers? Especially since the solution is to buy a $4 screwdriver, which the iFixit people are more than happy to sell you as part of their "liberation pack".

    Sure, it's an inconvenience (albeit a VERY minor one), but the level of outrage is manufactured. With the iFixit people leading the charge in the hopes that you'll be angry enough to send them $10 for a couple screwdrivers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Device over user

    A nod to beauty being in the eye of the beholder, but if you had ever seen the inside of a transmission on a new car (I do quite regularly) you would have picked something else. They are not at all pretty and the lubricants being used these days all have very disagreeable odors, some strong enough to make you want to puke.

    Amazon has the screwdrivers for these.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re:

    "Instead of empowering people to understand and master technology, they choose to keep the masses ignorant for their own "convenience".

    Why?"


    I Believe Apple addressed this with the Macintosh commercial in 1984.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Suddenly this is a big deal?

    This was not sudden, is just that the environment now pays more attention to this sort of thing. For years people complained about idiosyncratic tools to manipulate something.

    Go here and ask for an opinion of what they think about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    icon
    Chris Maresca (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 12:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Device over user

    I've done both (transmission and really small electronics). I have a bench full of electronics testing & manufacturing equipment (more than any Apple repair facility... I seriously doubt they have reflow ovens) and a shop full of CNC machines capable of making pretty much any part in any piece of machinery new or old.

    Are you telling me that I can't fixing [insert widget here] I bought or at least break it trying?

    Sorry, no. That's just a stupid attitude. Esp. since I have all the tools to _machine_ a bit for the 'security' screws...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    icon
    Ben (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 5:02am

    Re:

    This is not a non-story, it is a long line of examples of Apple's increasing lock down of their products. Many people repair phones, swap old batteries, and replace broken components. No different than doing so with computers and laptops. Before the iPhone I repaired my Blackberry quite often and there are many others as well. The iPhone was by no means a watershed moment for taking apart phones.

    First, the problem was I never had to buy some geeky tool to disassemble my phone. The screws used by every other major manufacturer were pretty much Phillips or Torx. I have been using the same precision set of tools since I was a kid. The move to new screws is just another roadblock Apple throws up for no other reason then to prevent people from opening up their phone and doing their own repairs: another example - integrated batteries on Macbooks and over engineered cases on iMacs (much more difficult to swap drives these days).

    Second, they are changing the screws on the phone when they repair it. So if there was something I wanted to repair under warranty they would be now putting up another roadblock.

    If I had done a warranty repair recently and they replaced the screws and I hadn't noticed (more than likely), I would have been pissed. A couple of days ago I dropped my iPhone 4 in a puddle outside work by accident. Luckily I was able to get it inside and take off the back case and remove the battery because the screen stopped working and I couldn't power it down. I used my same old trusty set of precision tools, took off the back, removed the battery connection (screwed in by the way) and proceeded to take the phone apart and dry it out. I got out all the water, and the phone after reassembling works perfect. Now if they had those stupid new screws and I hadn't known, I would have had a dead phone. Instead I was able to use my existing industry standard tools to fix my own phone. Big warning flag for me.

    That is why this is not a non-story. Every year Apple pushes the envelope of what they lock down. Step by step, they make it harder for regular people to do simple repairs and funnel more and more people to Apple stores where they can make a buck off you. Apple products, Apple store, Apple screws, Apple Apps etc. further and further down the lock down hole making it harder for people to switch or repair phones. I like Apple products, but if they continue to do these sort of things, my iPhone 4 will be the last Apple product I buy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 5:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Kudos to Techdirt

    I smell penguins!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: All Electronic companies do it

    Never mix your consoles!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Steve (Big) Jobs, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 5:45am

    Get your filthy, pedophile, rapist, murderer hands off my phones you scum!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Steven, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    Re: Device over user

    ... this article is over 3 weeks old. What the hell are you wasting time for?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    icon
    Verve (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Device over user

    I still have my first gen iPhone (bought October 2007), and have had zero need to replace my battery.

    I suspect the theory is that you'll buy a new phone before you'll truly need a new battery.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    icon
    Verve (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Re: Kind of a waste...

    You have to keep in mind that the average person (i'd argue, the vast majority of people) does not want to play tech support or tinker with their gear. They want toasters...you plug them in and they just work. And with that being the case, they aren't going to put in the effort to go look for a seller of said screwdriver.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    icon
    indeciSEAN (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 9:23am

    Re: Device over user

    Meh.

    I've seen lots of people up in arms about this, and I just can't wrap my head around their whining and entitlement issues to appreciate it as a real concern.

    I don't work for 'em, but I've spent enough time over the years on hold with Apple Care or waiting in line at the Genius Bar to have a bit of sympathy when it comes to the volume of troubleshooting they've got to do.....and how much of that troubleshooting is with complete morons who don't know what they're doing and break their device. I know multiple people who've decided it's not worth being without their phone for a day or two, and take it upon themselves to "fix it"...and then when they do REAL damage, go in to an Apple Store with an attitude -- wasting the employee's time, AND the time of people like you or I.

    Like software modding, if you want to take the risks involved with it, you're responsible for whatever happens......if you want to muck with your hardware/glass/case/whatever......go buy the $5 screwdriver and don't take it out on everyone else if something goes wrong.



    BTW, I'm not saying Apple is infallible, but this just isn't a hill worth dying on in my opinion; I've seen lots of "this is the LAST straw" and "I'm done with Apple because of this, you shouldn't keep me out of MY device that I PAID for" type commentary...and...well...I guess be thankful your life's easy enough that such concerns are the biggest problem you're living with?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    jprlk, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re: Device over user

    Aren't they technically stealing your screw? iPhone owners have bought that screw, and Apple is now stealing it and replacing it. If I own a car, and ask the mechanic to replace the alternator, he can't then replace the locks on the car, or install a new battery.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    stickicide12341, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 4:07pm

    I'd bet apple would have to make a screwdriver for the screws themselves... and somebody would probably put it on amazon or something soon enough... lets just pray and wait until that happens.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Steve, Apr 27th, 2013 @ 8:23am

    blackberry repair toronto

    I think Apple took a right step at a very right time. By changing the screw pattern, it could be ensured that your APPLE is in safe hands as a well equipped and well experienced service provider could put hand over it.

    blackberry repair toronto

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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