Friday, January 21, 2011

Apple Screws iPhone Customers


Apple stores are replacing screws on the iPhone 4 handsets they repair with tamper-proof screws, in a move to prevent anyone else from opening the device.
image via

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company's stores are now replacing screws on iPhone 4 models brought in by customers with tamper-proof screws to prevent unauthorized repairs or hacks, according to one of its repair and parts suppliers. When customers bring in their iPhones for repairs into an Apple store in the U.S., technicians now swap out the commonly-used Phillips screws that the device shipped with, replacing them with so-called "Pentalobe" screws that are near-impossible for consumers to open.

Customers are not informed of the switch, which was begun in late fall last year, according to sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
The new screws were inserted to keep prevent customers from replacing the battery and opening up their own phones, according to Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit, a prominent Apple repair and parts supplier. IFixit is also known to make "teardown" kits to help iPhone owners take apart their devices for self-repair, in an effort to cut down on waste and landfills.
Apple did not comment on the matter.
The company is well-known, however, for discouraging individual modification and "hacks" to its devices and for maintaining strict control over its proprietary parts. Apple currently replaces iPhone batteries free if the device is under warranty, but otherwise charges $79 for a new battery replacement.
An enterprising customer previously may have been able to buy batteries from a third-party and swap them out on their own, but the new screws are designed to stop that. "Apple wants to be in the business of selling you the new battery," said Wiens.
The screws have been used previously by the company on MacBook Pros, since at least 2009, as well as the current MacBook Air and non-US iPhone 4.

Another douche move.  That would be like taking your car in for repair and them replacing the bolts on your tires so you can't fix a flat. Don't you own you iPhone? Shouldn't you have the option of having it modified?  I would think so but "choice" is not the Apple way.


  1. OMFG!!!

    Apple is teh evil. The sky is falling.

    Give me a break. This might affect the tiniest percentage of Apple users who actually want to muck about with their equipment. The requisite screwdrivers will soon be widely available for those who want them. iFixit already has one for sale.

    Actually, I sympathize with iFixit (which is a terrific resource), but this issue, like most anti-Apple screeds, is overblown.

  2. Yes, well it's not the end of the world but they are modifying the product without your consent and it's a complete waste of time.

    I agree that iFixit does seem pretty awesome. F the Apple store.

  3. apple bats are soldered into place.. that super thin profile.. comes
    at the sacrifice of the connectors and housings most li-PO batteries have inbound devices..

    on an iPod.. If you can get past removing the screen.. an are prepared to solder already.. a little $1 screwdriver is all that's needed..

    most consumers don't have a proper 001 Philips head driver either..

  4. apple battery sucks and everyone knows, but wont admit it, god....ur all lame

  5. The thing that all Apple users talk about is not having to "tinker" with their devices. They let the help do it for them.