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  • Apple Rumored to be Testing New Asymmetric Screw


    A recent rumor has been spotted on Reddit indicating that Apple may be in the works of getting asymmetric screws for their devices to keep users out. Citing Cult of Mac, the rumor comes from a leaked e-mail that supposedly came from Apple's design department in Cupertino, CA. The screw, pictured above, has a completely bizarre head pattern that will render most, if not all, known screwdrivers useless in attempting to remove the screw by the end user.

    Apple is known for trying to minimize the amount of user access to the internals of their devices. Apple switched from Phillips screws to Pentalobe screws on some of their devices to help with keeping people out (images by iFixit):



    Why would Apple be trying so hard to keep people out of their devices? – Keeping people out of their devices means less accidents are likely to happen and this means Apple won’t have to replace as many devices. Other explanations go as far as claiming that the company just likes to control everything, leaving to the user to cope with this control.

    For the average Apple device user, it probably won’t make much difference what kind of screw the company decides to go with. Apple sells a whole lot more mobile devices than computers and there really isn't much room in Apple's mobile devices to make modifications.

    Apple's newer computers on the other hand, are switching from removable hardware to permanent hardware. The MacBook Air has custom storage, which can't be upgraded by the end user. The MacBook Pro with retina display has custom memory and custom storage, which cannot be upgraded or replaced by industry-standard hardware, so being able to open the device wouldn't offer much freedom to the end user in terms of non-mobile devices either.

    Although there wouldn’t be any existing screwdrivers made for this particular kind of screw, it seems like a long shot trying to use it in their devices, as third party companies will likely develop third party accessories capable of removing the screws and make these tools available to the public.

    Sources: Cult of Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Rumored to be Testing New Asymmetric Screw started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 33 Comments
    1. back2thebeatof84's Avatar
      back2thebeatof84 -
      Reminds me of my girlfriend. Extremely easy to strip
    1. imnothardcore's Avatar
      imnothardcore -
      Quote Originally Posted by back2thebeatof84 View Post
      Reminds me of my girlfriend. Extremely easy to strip
      Oh, I know

      back to topic... stupidly pointless the screwdriver that fits it will be available on ebay for $1 right after launch.
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      Why would Apple be trying so hard to keep people out of their devices? – Keeping people out of their devices means less accidents are likely to happen and this means Apple won’t have to replace as many devices.
      If someone messes up their phone by opening it then I don't think that's an accident.. Plus I believe that voids the warranty anyways so Apple wouldn't be required to replace it, correct?
    1. Eddy91's Avatar
      Eddy91 -
      Quote Originally Posted by The6uest View Post
      If someone messes up their phone by opening it then I don't think that's an accident.. Plus I believe that voids the warranty anyways so Apple wouldn't be required to replace it, correct?
      Exactly, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see if a phone has been opened or not, leading to them not replacing it and voiding your warranty
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by The6uest View Post
      If someone messes up their phone by opening it then I don't think that's an accident.. Plus I believe that voids the warranty anyways so Apple wouldn't be required to replace it, correct?
      Technically, yes. However the customer will likely just lie and say something happened to the iPhone randomly. The Genius behind the counter will try some software diagnostics and if they can't get it to work they'll just replace it.
    1. i.Annie's Avatar
      i.Annie -
      Ah, people always find a way to open iPhones up. It may be more difficult this way, but there's always a way.
    1. ramicio's Avatar
      ramicio -
      I can see Apple patenting this design so that people can't make bits for it. They probably weren't able to patent the pentalobe design but chose it because it was rare. They need to just piss off and let people into what they bought. Better effort should be spent designing tamper-proof stickers to cover the screw holes.
    1. Lohand's Avatar
      Lohand -
      And this my friends is what separates Mice from Men! Those that are willing to risk it (some of who frequent these very pages at MMi) by not just Jailbreaking their iPhones but going the extra step of modding the hardware adding thing like lighted logo mod kits. I say kudos to those Men that revel in the bold spirit of adventure (and having a kick azz custom phone to boot)...

      The rest? The timid, the weak that take no risk and envy or simply follow like mice behind the proverbial Pied Pipers. If you have a regular iPhone (not Jailbroken or modded) "you're doing it all wrong". Sayin...
    1. aidanharris's Avatar
      aidanharris -
      Am I right in saying though that there are many qualified electrical engineers in this world that know exactly what they're doing when they open up their device. It would be wrong of apple to deny these people that replace our batterries and logic boards cheaper than apple access to our device would it not?
    1. BobSlob's Avatar
      BobSlob -
      Just order the $4-from-china screwdriver and be done with it.
    1. ramicio's Avatar
      ramicio -
      Like I said, if this is an Apple design, it will likely be patented and it will be illegal for anyone to make the bits. China will also enforce such idiocy for Apple because they will likely pay off China to do so.
    1. daviedave's Avatar
      daviedave -
      Quote Originally Posted by aidanharris View Post
      Am I right in saying though that there are many qualified electrical engineers in this world that know exactly what they're doing when they open up their device. It would be wrong of apple to deny these people that replace our batterries and logic boards cheaper than apple access to our device would it not?
      I know, it's like I am not allowed to do what I legally want with my own device.
    1. back2thebeatof84's Avatar
      back2thebeatof84 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ramicio View Post
      Like I said, if this is an Apple design, it will likely be patented and it will be illegal for anyone to make the bits. China will also enforce such idiocy for Apple because they will likely pay off China to do so.
      I foresee Apple VS. "insert rebel individual here" trials in the future.
    1. imnothardcore's Avatar
      imnothardcore -
      Quote Originally Posted by ramicio View Post
      Like I said, if this is an Apple design, it will likely be patented and it will be illegal for anyone to make the bits. China will also enforce such idiocy for Apple because they will likely pay off China to do so.
      Mod edit

      ...

      bits will be made no china company will give a crap. Do you understand how much bootleg stuff comes out of china? from clothing to beats headphones to just about anything else you can imagine. It cant and wont be stopped by anyone or any amount of money ever. Who would Apple even pay the chinese government?.. Im sure they would care to enforce something so stupid ... spoiler alert: NO
    1. Host_Killer's Avatar
      Host_Killer -
      Getting tired of Apple... I like my iPhone but it seems Apple, now they're more mainstream have become worse than Microsoft with their attempt at controlling how we use OUR products. Because the last time I checked, I own my iPhone, not Apple. If I want to void my warranty then so be it.

      Maybe they should start leasing us the hardware... It appears to me, they think they already are.

      If Android wasn't so clunky, I'd switch. They're ahead of Apple on Hardware... Not opinion, FACT.
    1. daviedave's Avatar
      daviedave -
      Quote Originally Posted by imnothardcore View Post
      Mod edit
      ...

      bits will be made no china company will give a crap. Do you understand how much bootleg stuff comes out of china? from clothing to beats headphones to just about anything else you can imagine. It cant and wont be stopped by anyone or any amount of money ever. Who would Apple even pay the chinese government?.. Im sure they would care to enforce something so stupid ... spoiler alert: NO
      Hahaha be nice

      But you're right, I came back from there recently, they bootleg anything and everything. I saw so many apple iPhone knockoffs
    1. amoamare's Avatar
      amoamare -
      From the look of the render from this view, it looks as if a normal flat head would still be able to unscrew it, with minor tweaking.
    1. 0Milk0's Avatar
      0Milk0 -
      I can't stand the pentalobe screws! When i do iPhone 4 repairs I just switch them out to the phillips screws because when I put the pentalobes back in they strip
    1. LearningMan's Avatar
      LearningMan -
      I wish them the best of luck in developing a screw someone can't develop a way to turn. Sounds like somebody at Apple need to get a real job.
    1. back9player's Avatar
      back9player -
      Quote Originally Posted by back2thebeatof84 View Post
      Reminds me of my girlfriend. Extremely easy to strip
      hilarious!