[NTLK] FW: iFixit: Apple ¹ s Diabolical Plan to Screw Your iPhone

Robert Dylan Stewart robertdylanstewart at gmail.com
Sat Jan 22 15:00:35 EST 2011

Why is this suddenly in the news again?  First time I heard about it was back in November, I think.


It may have been known before then, but that's the earliest article I found.  The comments in that article point to several vendors from which you can purchase an appropriate five-pointed Torx driver.

It fascinates me that everyone is talking about this like it's a new thing.


 Robert D. Stewart	AC5ZH

On Jan 22, 2011, at 11:53 AM, Lord Groundhog wrote:

> ~~~ On 2011/01/22 12:08, Jon Glass at jonglass at usa.net wrote ~~~
>> On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 12:29 PM, Lord Groundhog
>> <LordGroundhog at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Customers who liberate themselves from the need for expensive and
>>> time-wasting submissions of equipment to Apple's repair programme for easy,
>>> safe, routine maintenance tasks like changing an iPhone's battery or
>>> removing dust curls from around a computer's fan?  Or is Steve becoming
>>> paranoid about spies -- spies and WRECKERS who will sneak into brazillians
>>> of Macs and Apple devices while they're still on the warehouse shelves to
>>> saboutage them?  It just seems a bit over-the-top to me.
>>> From the top, yes. But it can only be a matter of time, before
>> resourceful people work around these (and it's already happened), and
>> Apple has to know this--and they do. Also, it has to be obvious from
>> the get-go, that those small companies who "compete" with Apple in
>> repairing these devices will also have ways around this. Therefore, it
>> cannot be seen to be a blanket attempt by Apple to make opening their
>> equipment impossible. Nothing is impossible--sometimes only more
>> difficult and/or expensive. I know when I bought a stumpy antenna for
>> my Treo 650, it came with a tiny torx screwdriver to open my Palm. Any
>> company now dealing with replacement batteries for the iPhone will
>> likely have to provide them. Is this all so cruel and evil? Not
>> hardly. Why do it then? Well, having seen people try, without any
>> experience and knowledge, to crack their iPhone, but with disastrous
>> effect, I can see why Apple would change these screws, and, in fact, I
>> have been rather surprised since the day I got my iPhone to see
>> Phillips head screws in there! Such screws scream "open me"--pad plan
>> for something as small and internally fragile as the iPhone. Is Apple
>> going too far? Only time alone will tell. Frankly, I think this has
>> gotten far more negative press than it really deserves, and far more
>> vitriol than necessary (IMO, _any_ vitriol is too much on this issue).
>> Neal already mentioned the potential danger of the batteries, which
>> alone--as a physical reminder to technicians handling these things,
>> that behind these screws is a potential hazard of a certain king--may
>> have been sufficient in Apple's collective mind as a
>> justification--and the fact that it creates an extra roadblock to
>> casual hacking is a bonus.
>> I don't understand this desire--yeah, giddy eagerness--to attribute in
>> everything Apple does, always the absolute worst of all possible
>> explanations--including ones dreamed up by feverish minds of those
>> whose hatred for all things Apple has caused brain fevers creating the
>> worst of delusions.... Why are these always the first and loudest???
>> What is extra ironic about this is that such people are those involved
>> in working in an industry which is supposed to be one devoid of such
>> shallow, human emotions (think Spock here)... Go figure...
> Jon, 
> Don't misunderstand me.  I love Apple products -- the actual products.  But
> I really, really don't get this urge to make it harder and harder -- and
> harder and harder -- for Apple customers to do simple maintenance tasks.
> And I too have seen people open their devices with more enthusiasm than
> sense:  I've ended up more than once trying to fix the mess.  All too often
> I have to say sorry, but you've killed the patient.  But really, is it
> Apple's job to stop people from being stupid?  As long as those stupid
> people aren't making Apple pay for their stupidity (and that's the purpose
> of those T&Cs in the warranty), it's their right to keep doing stupid
> things.  And those people who know how to do repairs don't have to jump
> through so many hoops to do them.
> Opening electronic devices has always been risky -- remember when DIY
> repairs on a TV carried the risk of accidentally touching the wrong places
> and getting a capacitor jolt or a static jolt strong enough to stop a weak
> heart?  And then there were all those delightful tubes (or 'valves' for the
> Brits here) that could be accidentally unseated or damaged, wires that could
> be messed with, and so on.  But Jobs of all people should remember that the
> home computer revolution started with people doing stuff for themselves;
> after all, the Apple started out in a garage, and was sold to the kind of
> people who half expected to build complete systems out of components and
> half-built units and so on.
> For certain, there are people who shouldn't open anything more complicated
> than a jar of pickled beetroot, and most of us have to recognize our limits.
> Warnings of consequences and warranty violations are appropriate.  But
> what's the mileage in finding ever more awkward ways of making a device more
> and more impenetrable by the owner who's taken the time to gain knowledge
> and experience?   Part of the pleasure of owning these devices -- at least
> for some -- is caring for them.  (One reason why I still love my Pismos
> above my later machines is that, despite its old tech, I can field strip it
> and repair pretty much anything with a minimum of tools, hindered only by
> time and access to parts where that's necessary.  It's the AK-47 of
> laptops.)  
> As for your point about going straight to the worst of all possible
> explanations, I take your point and I want to thank you for the correction.
> I suppose my problem is that it's a bit of a struggle to know why they'd
> switch to the obscure pentalobe screw.   I accept that we probably should
> wait till they announce why or until someone asks them and they say why.
> OTOH I doubt we'll get that any time soon.  I want to know what's wrong with
> some variety of the venerable and time-tested Torx head, which I find
> pleasing to the eye and for which tools abound.  The answer that leaps out
> first is the apparent trend to make Apple devices more and more like sealed
> units that we buy, hand back to Apple for repairs, and then -- almost
> inevitably -- replace when they say our old one isn't worth repairing.
> (This is something I once was told by a certain manufacturer's repair guy
> about a high-end CRT display, and which was immediately contradicted by an
> old-fashioned TV repairman who fixed it and charged me £30 -- about $50 at
> the time.)  
> I suppose we all have to make up our minds about the level of inconvenience
> we'll put up with.  I keep buying from Apple for now because I like the gear
> and I can get round the obstacles.  I've held off on buying products that I
> can't open up.  And if they really do turn their stuff into locked-down
> mystery boxes, I'll think about buying from less nannying companies.
> Of course I might just have to take up a new hobby and start building my own
> custom shells, cracking open the original Apple cases and transplanting the
> guts into my shells.  I could call them "Apple Crates™©".   B-)
> Shalom. 
> Christian 
> ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
> “Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from a Newton.”
>            -- ref.:  Arthur C. Clarke
> http://youtube.com/watch?v=1ZzpdPJ7Zr4
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