Apple Switching To New Tamper-Resistant “Pentalobe” Screws For iPhone To Prevent DIY Repairs?

News | Tuesday January 18 2011 9:56 PM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, sent us an email to point out that Apple is switching to a new type of tamper-resistant “Pentalobe” screws instead of the standard Phillips screws, which makes it more difficult for users to open and repair an Apple device as screw drivers that can remove it are not readily available.
According to iFixit, Apple had initially shipped iPhone 4’s with Phillip screws but it has started using the tamper-resistant screws in
Apple is switching to a new type of tamper-resistant screw. This is not a standard Torx, and there are no readily available screwdrivers that can remove it. This isn’t the first time they’ve used this type of screw – it first appeared in the mid-2009 MacBook Pro to prevent you from replacing the the battery – and Apple is using a similar screw on the outer case of the current MacBook Air. This screw is the primary reason the 11″ MacBook Air earned a lousy repairability score of 4 out of 10 in our teardown last October.
Apple chose this fastener specifically because it was new, guaranteeing repair tools would be both rare and expensive. Shame on them.
If you still want to open and repair your iPhone with these tamper-resistant screws then you can buy the aptly named “iPhone 4 liberation kit” from iFixit that costs $9.95, which includes a screwdriver that will fit the tamper-resistant pentalobular screws, two replacement Phillips screws, and a regular #00 Phillips screwdriver.
At the end of the day very few users would even attempt to repair their iPhone and ones who do, will either have the necessary tools to do it or know where to get them.
What do you think of Apple ’s move to switch to “Pentalobe” screws?

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