Apple invent star-shaped screw to keep you out of the iPhone 4

22 January 2011


If you were to buy an iPhone, you might assume that as it was yours and you owned it, you would be free to do whatever you like with it. Such as open it up and have a poke around at its innards. If you were that way inclined of course.

You’d be wrong. Apple seemingly don’t want to you to do that, which is why they’ve developed a special new screw to stop you from getting into the wretched phone-a-meejig.

It seems that the most recent versions of the iPhone 4 are held together with screws that have star-shaped heads – for which it is said there are no commercially-available screwdrivers. The fiendish bastards.

The first run of the latest iPhone had standard Phillips-head screws, allowing easy access to the interior of your phone. But the new ‘pentalobe’ screws, which first appeared on the MacBook Pro in 2009, seem to be fitted as standard on the iPhone 4 these days.

What’s more, website iFixit claim that if you take your iPhone in for service, it will be returned to you with the new tamper-proof screws inserted where your Phillips-head ones would previously have been. As a response, iFixit have developed an ‘iPhone 4 Liberation Kit’ – and for that we applaud them.

What’s your view on this, avid readers? Should gadget-makers deliberately obstruct owners from self-repair and curious exploration? Or is completely up to them to build their shiny bleepy toys any damn way they see fit?


TOPICS:   Mobile


  • Steve J.
    Screw you.
  • So w.
    Far east ebay sellers will have them listed for sale tomorrow.
  • Askgar
    Complete non-story here, Nintendo have been doing this for years with the "triforce" screws, its only a different screwdriver that needs to be bought.
  • move n.
    See when someone says "non story here" you just imagine them with their wee noses in the air, hands outstretched with palms aloft.
  • Ian P.
    Think their is a typo in the headline, should read ; Apple ****** ****-**** screw *** **** you *** ** *** **** ; reads the same and also summarises the postion nicely.....
  • Speedy
    Erm you can get the Nin Tri wing screwdrivers for 99p off Amazon I should know as I've got one \o/ As for apple invent all new singing dancing star screw head WAT seriously WAT!!! The screwdriver socket set I bought from Woolies for £2.99 some 20 years ago has a head attachment which will fit that (and 59 other types/sizes of bolt/screw head) What next for Bitter Wallet exclusives "Round wheel solves problem of rolling?"
  • James
    Yet another BORING story from the BW team.... Most of your home appliances have this.. BMW do this as well as other cars... But then you would know this if you had your own house and mode of transportation... Bus will be here soon, must dash.
  • Milky
    Give it a rest you criticising fox bumming girlfriendless gimboids, this will have been issued originally as part of a statement by less than 100% factchecking p.r & marketeer dept at Apple, who feed you bullshit for a living & therefore have to believe their own bollocks!
  • bob's b.
    Apple screw innovation ! Read that as you like.
  • Mr M.
    I think people are confusing torx for star-shaped, unless of course the apple screws are in fact torx, in which case an even bigger non-story than the usual apple invented piss flaps and video calls etc
  • Stu
    They are a new type of screw head but they can still be opened with a standard screwdriver(flathead) of the right size. It's just a regurgitated story by someone who couldn't think of a new angle so basically copied the story doing the rounds! As a consumer blog why not talk about the story and then highlight the USEFUL info that it can still be opened with the right size of driver that comes in pretty much and glasses type screwdriver set? Or just carry on copying and pasting... I always like the style of writing on here but why not look for a different angle on these sorts of stories?
  • Brad
    A very small Flat headed screwdriver, job done.
  • FFS
    I don't get what the big issue is... If it's in fact a new type of screw, then that simply means a new type of screwdriver will be made and Apple have just given screwdriver manufacturers a whole bunch of new revenue. A torx has six points, whereas this only has five- but it doesn't change the fact that this is literally going to do nothing to stop people opening their iPhones lol...
  • Jonny J.
    You say there are no commercially available screwdrivers of this kind - and then go on to give a link to some!!!
  • Adebisi
    Jobs will be dead soon and rumor has it that the man who designed the atari jaguar will be taking his place.
  • Jo
    I think some of you are missing the point of this article. The question is not as to whether it is possible to out-smart apples new screws, but asking whether on not you feel Apples original actions to impose the use of these new screws is fair or just.
  • Stu
    Jo I think YOU are missing the point! Imposing a new screw which can be opened with any standard flat head screwdriver of the right size isn't an imposition! What could possibly not be fair about it? In fact many companies use special torx screws which are actually harder than this apple design to get a standard flathead driver into.
  • LanceVance
    F**k Apple. Just use a hammer to open up your ipad/iphone/ilid.
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