back to article The cost of beating Apple's shrewd screws? £2

Apple has been switching the screws that hold its latest iPhone shut, but cries of conspiracy are somewhat refuted by the realisation that a $2 screwdriver fixes the problem. The new screws are called pentalobe (five-pointed), but if it is really (as iFixit so eloquently put it) "Apple's insidious plan to sabotage our iPhones" …

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Coffee/keyboard

(untitled)

"You may find something different down there.."

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FAIL

Apple

Think they got a screw loose some where......

Will get my coat

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FAIL

Tinfoil hat brigade on the loose again

I think this was probably always more about inventory (the *billions* of screws the manufacturers must get through?!), with possibly a side advantage of deterring casual fiddlers, than any great evil plan to thwart third party access :-\

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Go

Correction

At our Local Harbor Freight store, the tool is about $2. Funny, while using a wall urinal at a local mall yesterday I noticed the privacy panels were wall-mounted with brackets using "tamper proof" lag screws. I laughed. I guess it really is true, the beautiful people hang out in the same places the rest of use do.

Inspiration comes from all over.

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Go

Idiot!

You meant to say... "Don't proff whut they right". Old people, the curse of the cybre-wurld. Yeah right. Moron

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Coat

what a cutie

Shes a hot geek, i wanna give her some input and then process her output. hmm

yeah... the one with sadtard on the back, thnx

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/agree

Except for the Apple fetish anyway.

Nice heatsinks in any case..

;)

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Anonymous Coward

I find a hammer fixes most things.

(The post is required, and must contain letters.)

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Headmaster

Exactly...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/headmaster_32.png

And, if that does not work? Get a bigger hammer, of course.

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Stop

they are the same as DRM

doest stop people getting in, just makes it hard for the casual idiot to get in and break things.

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Black Helicopters

err...

Didn't El Reg run a story supporting this conspiracy before... And no mention of it (But happy to knock a competing site) in this one....

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Just last week

And oddly enough, the comments were full of people pointing out how easy it is to get the drivers and how much of a non-story it was.

And commentards of course, but that always happens on Apple stories.

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Coat

Hard to find?

Had sets of these for ages - little more than £4 from the average supermarket's hardware aisle and you can get sets of security bits that cover all these crazy security screws. A more premium £15 set and you get around 50 different interchangeable heads in one convenient package.

Computer kit that we can't get into? Not likely... mine's the one with the assorted screws and bolts in the pocket that ought to have gone back into the laptop but there didn't appear to be any holes left...

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Recessed security screws

The trouble with the security bit sets is that the diameter of a bit-holder means that they can't be used where the screws are (deliberately) recessed by more than the length of the bit, and the hole is (deliberately) not big enough.

By the way, Mr Ray, it's a Phillips screw - Philips is a large consumer electronics company.

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Pint

Yep, bits do not always fit. This is why...

... I have a set of Tamper Torx (a torx head with a hole bored in the middle) drivers from T10 to T1, primarily for working on hard drives and other tiny tiny devices. Most of them don't use the tamper part, but I figured if I must buy the drivers, I might as well buy the tamper torx so I don't have to duplicate tooling in the event I run across a tamper screw.

The first real security screwdriver I bought was a tamper-hex in 5/32" , obstinately to get into telephone boxes when I worked for one of the larger ISPs here in the US and had to troubleshoot things.

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Coat

Need to open an IPhone

...Nothing a 10lb lump hammer, can't solve.

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Coat

So...

"At least the world agrees that the slot screw is an abomination that deserves to go the same way as surgery without anaesthetic and public hangings."

That's Channel 4 then?

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Can't say I agree with the slot screw comment

The only screw heads I've ever ruined are Phillips - because you can't get enough "drive" on them... probably because pozidriv & supadriv fit them "quite well" but not properly - whereas with a slot screw only the thickness of the blade is a limit.

Oh and security screws of miscellaneous types - as others have said widely available from just about any decent tool outlet.

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Anonymous Coward

Dislike of slot screws

At least when you chew up the head of a philips screw or the driving bit, the bit can't accidentally slide out of the screw head and irrepairably scrape the surface of the thing you're trying to take apart/put together, or worse, slice up your hand which has happened to me once.

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Feature not bug

Phillips screws are designed to 'cam out' when you twist too hard. It means that you can't overtighten them easily.

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Phillips takes the right tool

Phillips screws are far superior to slotted. If you have the right screwdriver for the screw it should grip so well that with enough torque you can twist the head off the screw.

You're doing it wrong.

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..................WRONG...............

If it cams out you are doing it WRONG.

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Nyet Kamerad ! slot ist gud !

For the unminaturised stuff out there, a stuffed slotted screw can often be returned to use enough to get it out with a hacksaw. Also works on other screws of sufficient size.

As for tiny stuff, they are all b?st??ds if tight.

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Abomination...

"At least the world agrees that the slot screw is an abomination that deserves to go the same way as surgery without anaesthetic and public hangings."

Funny that some of the most precise miniaturised mechanical machines, ie: watch movements, are put together exclusively with slot screws. I suspect the skill of the artificer has a lot to do with whether they're considered and abomination.

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Re : Abomination

"Funny that some of the most precise miniaturised mechanical machines, ie: watch movements, are put together exclusively with slot screws. I suspect the skill of the artificer has a lot to do with whether they're considered and abomination."

Seconded. Many of the cross-head screw layouts were done to deliberately encourage cam-out, to deter knuckle-dragger operators/Conan the Chippy from blindly over-tightening, so can hardly be held up as a pinnacle of design...

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Headmaster

World? Hardly.

"the world agrees that the slot screw is an abomination that deserves to go the same way as ... public hangings"

/pedant

Iran finds public hangings to be quite salutary.

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Jobs Halo

Premium?

That makes them even more exclusive!

Must rush out and get shiny phone with expensive screws.

Hope I can make phone calls.

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Jobs Halo

Apple?

Apple - inventing new and cunning ways to screw up its equipment since 2010.

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Coat

Question.

Q. "Would you like a screw driver?"

A. "Not just now thanks, I'm busy..."

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Happy

Canada has the unique Robertson headed screw!

The Robertson headed screw is unique to Canada - see < http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/images/robertscrew.jpg > -

There are four sizes and no other screwdrivers fit! It wasn't designed for security - just an easy, reliable design to use with a power driver.

A Canadian company I worked for had some U.S. Navy contracts and the packing/shipping directions were so detailed they were a pain to follow. Failure to comply involved return of the goods.

The only thing they didn't specify was the type of screw to be used to build the wooden crates. To show our appreciation we always used Robertson headed screws which always floored them!

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WTF?

Not unique to Canada

You can get square drive screws and driver bits quite easily in UK, for example from Screwfix: http://www.screwfix.com/prods/18414/Screws/Interior-Wood-Screws/Goldscrews/Goldscrew-Square-Head-Countersunk-4-x-30mm-Pack-of-200

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Yeah,

I always thought Robertson screws were our very own, but the only thing our own is the name. Americans call 'em "square head"

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Not quite....

Those damn things are used in every mobile home/manufactured housing in the US.... and are defeated with a standard slot screwdriver fitted diagonally in the square.

:)

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Anonymous Coward

re: The Robertson headed screw is unique to Canada

The only thing "unique to Canada" is the name - the rest of the world just calls them square drive, and they are actually quite popular across a large range of industries and uses.

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Anonymous Coward

Slotted screwdriver...

...45 degrees across the square head. Tap with pliers to lock it in. Turn and undo.

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Ford model T

used those screws.

Lots of deck screws in the US also have those heads

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Pint

Just shows a 1926 Canadian invention was a world beater

Messrs Robertson, of screw fame, the original designers and manufacturers, are located in Milton, Ontario about an hour west of Toronto.

The screws weren't that 'international' until the 1980's.

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Heart

Screw You!

The only tool for a Phillips screw is a Phillips screwdriver and not one of the other options but Phillips screws are rare below size 1 and the smaller ones are crossed but not Phillips.

A Dean of Engineering told me that when he was working at IBM, he ended up having to go through the hundreds of screws used in a punch card machine. It turns out that IBM had several hundred part numbers for the same screw yet some cost far more than others because of volume buys and other nonsense. He reduced it to something like 23 unique screw part numbers and sent requests off to get most of those changed to less than a half a dozen.

A flat blade will open a pentalobe. They are just a cheaper to make 5 pointed star head and they have been around for at least 30 years.

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I think that's why The Doctor carries a sonic;

much easier than changing heads all the time.

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Stop

Apple have nothing on car makers

- they've been at this for decades. Go to a Volvo garage and you'll see a whole wall of improbable and bizarre special tools, it looks like the inside of an alien spaceship: these are created, utterly gratuitously, to work on parts made so nobody else can without the expensive tools - prohibiting competition.

Even VW, go back to the 80s, did a certain kind of utterly unecessary pressurised clip (amongst many on the Golf) which only their tools could prize apart, to replace a jubilee clip: you could do it with a lot of pressure but you'd often cut your hands open.

Apple's efforts are nothing in this regard!

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VW Clips

Those clips VW use are easily taken off with vise-grips.

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and

the clip was used because jubilee clips are unable to take temperature changes on hoses. the clip in question can keep a constant pressure on the hose when it's hot or cold (or something like that).

and the clip is apparently very effective as well, that's why you find them on other vehicles now as well.

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Jobs Horns

When will you people learn?

The only screw worth using is the Robertson.

A Canadian invention. :)

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Today we have naming of parts

Yeah, sure you can use the Internet to find a screwdriver for the weird screw: if you know what the weird screw is *called*. Who would have guessed "pentalobe"?

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Stop

Or you could try Googling

Let me Google that for you:

http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=iphone+weird+screw

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A million thanks

for that reminder of a beautiful poem that has not passed across my consciousness for many years.

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Milliput and patience

A splash of wd40, 20 minutes with milliput, and a donor screwdriver, and you can open pretty much anything ;-)

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Robertson screws, you say?

Finally! An explanation for the (apparently useless) screwdrivers I got in a giant set a few years back.

So I might never have seen any of them in use but at least I can undo them when I do.

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wrong, phillips is 'cross-head', nothing else..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screw_drive#Phillips

even pentalobe is there, C 2009...

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Grenade

Swinging slowly in the breeze

"At least the world agrees that the slot screw is an abomination that deserves to go the same way as surgery without anaesthetic and public hangings."

I agree about the surgery, but there's something appealing about public hangings of company managers who decide to use special-tool fasteners in their products. I've paid my money, I own the article, now let me in!

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