Feeds

The cost of beating Apple's shrewd screws? £2

Quick online search finds easy answer to pentalobes

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Apple has been switching the screws that hold its latest iPhone shut, but cries of conspiracy are somewhat refuted by the realisation that a $2 screwdriver fixes the problem.

The new screws are called pentalobe (five-pointed), but if it is really (as iFixit so eloquently put it) "Apple's insidious plan to sabotage our iPhones" then that plan has proven to be fatally flawed by the half-dozen companies that popping up to sell suitable screwdrivers for as little as $2.35.

First up was iFixit itself, who started selling a $10 kit including a pair of replacement (Philips) screws, and a screwdriver that will get the pentalobe screws out even if it means destroying them in the process.

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

Apple has used Pentalobe screws before, on the MacBook Air, at which time it was found to be more annoying than insidious, but laptops have always had strange screws holding them together. Your correspondent once spent a memorable morning in a car park filing a Torx T7 down to a Torx T5 before entering the customer site; Toshiba had failed to provide a suitable tool, though the company was keen to provide (non-Torx) replacement screws.

Americans are very keen on varying their screws. A European might be happy with a Philips, or perhaps a Pozidriv for special occasions, but rest of the world likes more variation. At least the world agrees that the slot screw is an abomination that deserves to go the same way as surgery without anaesthetic and public hangings.

The more advanced screws offer loads of advantages in terms of holding the driver steady, or reducing the pressure which must be applied to push the screw in – which is particularly important when the screws are handled in large quantities by production-line machinery. The popular designs are, of course, well-patented and Apple will be paying a premium for the pentalobe screws that are equally likely to be associated with mechanisation as tamper-proofing.

It's true that using an obscure screw once offered a degree of security, but these days we have the internet for locating anything, and a moment's search shows half a dozen companies selling pentalobe screw drivers for under $10, though it was the chaps over at Gizmodo (who know a thing or two about dismantling iPhones) who managed to find one selling at £2.35, plus shipping. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?