Apple swapping in new inaccessible, “pentalobe” screws to new, repaired iPhone 4 units

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Date: Friday, January 21st, 2011, 05:58
Category: iPhone, News

If you were hoping to buy a new iPhone 4 and tinker with it, you might have some problems.

Per the mighty iFixIt, Apple has begun replacing the standard phillips head screws that hold together most iPhones sold in the U.S. with tamper-resistant “pentalobe” screws. The result is a device that most users are unable to open which also proves difficult for third party battery replacement services to replaces the battery in the device.

The pentalobe screw is a design controlled by Apple, and getting a screwdriver is very difficult, unless you’re an Apple Certified repair technician. Apple is apparently replacing the old screws with the new ones whenever an iPhone is brought into an Apple Store for repair, and users aren’t alerted to the change before or after it takes place.

Pentalobe Screw from iFixIt’s explanatory video

The new screws have begun to surface in recently shipped iPhones and iPhone 4 models shipped with the screw in Japan from the get-go.

These same screws are used on some MacBook Pro and Air models, and are likely to make their way to more Apple products in the future.

A video’s worth a couple thousand words and quite a bit of argument:


Apple’s Diabolical Plan to Screw your iPhone from iFixit on Vimeo.

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6 Responses to “Apple swapping in new inaccessible, “pentalobe” screws to new, repaired iPhone 4 units”

  1. Sure! Mod your phone, take it apart, whatever you want. Just don’t expect any service or support on it. That’s the problem. Apple, unlike many others, supports their gear and customers expect great service even if they are the reason the product isn’t working.

    If Apple isn’t on the hook for the performance of the product, like others, then they wouldn’t have to do this.

  2. Wow! When I was a Mac tech years ago I had to invest in a $10 torx wrench to open the Mac Plus/SE/SE30.
    Now Apple is using a screw that requires another $10 investment if I want to crack open my iPhone (which I would never do). Oh and which BTW iFixit will be more than happy to sell you!
    Screw you iFixit for manufacturing another anti-Apple bit of nonsense.

  3. They are security Torx screws, but not the normal security Torx screws. These are Tamper proof Torx Plus screws. The screw drivers are tightly controlled. They came up with this design because the old Tamper proof Torx (with the pin in the middle) screwdrivers became too widely available.

  4. just jam a torx in it, It will come out.

  5. I like the info but hate the video. Not just about her voice but her choice of words.

  6. These are not that hard to get. I already have one and it wasn’t difficult to find.