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?

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 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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