SANTA CLARA, Calif.,--During a teardown at this year’s DesignCon 2012 in Santa Clara, Calif., CEO of iFixit Kyle Weins blasted Apple for switching out its Phillips screws for new tamper-resistant screws.
Weins, who has written a hardware manifesto stating that users should be allowed to tinker with their own devices, called the move “diabolical”.
“This is not a standard Torx, and there are no readily available screwdrivers that can remove it,” he said, though iFixit has recently built a tool that can do the job.
“Apple chose this fastener specifically because it was new, guaranteeing repair tools would be both rare and expensive,” he added.
The screw Apple is using is similar to a Torx—except that the points have a rounder shape, and it has five points instead of six.
Apple's service manuals refer to them as "Pentalobular" screws, which Weins admits is a fairly fitting description.
“This screw head clearly has one purpose: to keep you out,” he said.
In an attempt to regain control over one’s own hardware, Weins said the solution was to get rid of Apple’s “pesky screws” and replace them with the regular Phillips screws used in previous iPhone models.
iFixit is even offering an iPhone 4 Liberation Kit, which it’s selling for under $10 which includes an improvised Pentalobe driver, two replacement Phillips screws, and a regular #00 Phillips screwdriver.
For EE Times' full coverage of DesignCon, please visit here.