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Apple Changing iPhone 4 Screws

January 21, 2011

Apple is replacing screws on iPhone 4 smartphones that are brought in for service in order to help prevent anyone else from opening the device.

Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit, said the purpose of the new screws is to keep people out of the iPhone and prevent them from replacing the battery.

He said that he noticed in November that screws were being switched.

“If you took your car in for service and they welded your hood shut, you wouldn’t be very happy”,” he told Reuters, comparing it to shutting owners out of their iPhones.

According to reports, Apple staff replaces the typical Philips screws when a customer brings an iPhone 4 into an Apple store for repair.  The screws are then replaced with so-called “Pentalobe” screws.

Wiens said these Pentalobe screws require a screwdriver that is not commercially available.  The screw is similar to a commonly used Torx screw, but has five points instead of six.

IFixit has commissioned a supplier to custom make these screwdrivers, which Weins said is still not a perfect match.

He said that the Pentalobe screw first appeared on the battery section of a Macbook Pro laptop in 2009.

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