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Apple screws shut the Iphone 4 on the sly

The evil proprietary five point screwhead
Fri Jan 21 2011, 10:30

CONTROL FREAK FIRM Apple doesn't want owners of its precious Iphone 4 to fiddle with their internals, so it is locking the devices shut with oddly headed screws.

Some Americans who have sent in their devices for repair will not be able to open them up in the future, said repair firm Ifixit. This is because Apple, in a move that some would describe as breathtakingly arrogant and sneaky, is switching the screws for tamper-proof ones.

You aren't told about the switch, which involves techies swapping the regular Philips Torx screws with 'Pentalobular' screws. These are already shipped with Japanese versions of the Iphone 4, and there are no readily-available screwdrivers that can remove them.

Apple has used a similar type of screw before, in the mid-2009 MacBook Pro to prevent you from replacing the battery, said Ifixit. The company uses another tamper-proof screw on the outer case of the current Macbook Air.

Jokingly described as an "Evil Proprietary Five Point Screw", it has a rounder shape than your regular screw and five points instead of six. Apparently, you won't be able to find this screw from any supplier, with Apple having chosen a design that only its technicians are using.

If you've bought a new Iphone 4 recently, then you might find that Apple has used these screws in your device. Whether you think that locking people out of their own hardware is a good thing depends on what kind of love you have for the cappuccino techno-fashion cult.

If you were locked out of your own car you wouldn't be happy, but Jobs' Mob apparently either believes this will be acceptable or just doesn't care what its paying customers might think. µ



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