During a teardown at this year’s DesignCon in Santa Clara, Calif., Kyle Weins, the CEO of iFixit, 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” on Apple’s part.
“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.”
Click the image below to view a slideshow of the iPhone 4S in various stages of disassembly:
UBM TechInsights, which specializes in intellectual property analysis, got its hands
on one of the first iPhone 4S models and conducted this teardown.
The screw that Apple is using is similar to a Torx -- except that the points have a rounder shape, and the screw 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.