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

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 25 Jan 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.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer
Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.