The shocking story of the evil Apple pentalobe screw conspiracy

pentalobe screwdriver

Apple is frustrating technophiles with the pentalobe screw, which can only be loosened with the rare pentalobe screwdriver. Image: CC wburris/Flickr

The pentalobe screw has Apple geeks up in arms. The pentalobe screw is a new type of fastener Apple is using to discourage tampering with iPhones and MacBooks. Tech bloggers call Apple’s use of the pentalobe screw “evil,” and they are spreading the word about the pentalobe screwdriver.

Pentalobe screw catches geeks off guard

The tamper-resistant pentalobe screw, which can only be loosened with a pentalobe screwdriver, is seen by technophiles as a diabolical plot by an evil corporate entity to control its customers. The pentalobe screw was first sighted at the debut of the iPhone 4 in Japan. The insidious threaded pest defeated producers of tear-down videos, who film while a new product is systematically dismantled to expose its innards. At first, the new screw with a flowery head was suspected to be either a Torx, Torx Security or Torx Plus. When it became evident that the mysterious fastener was a pentalobe screw, there were no pentalobe screwdrivers readily available to remove them.

The pentalobe conspiracy spreads

Defeated, the technophiles cursed Apple for screwing with their iPhones. Apple then extended the tentacles of its diabolical pentalobe conspiracy to the iPhone 4 brought in for service. They knew something fishy was going on when they noticed the Phillips head screws in the iPhone case were replaced by a new and unrecognizable fastener. The pentalobe screw had struck again. Now all iPhones ship with the pentalobe screw, and so does the MacBook Air. Three variations of the pentalobe screw have been identified, and Apple customers are being warned that the company they swear allegiance to doesn’t trust them with their own hardware.

The pentalobe screwdriver comes to the rescue

Those most outraged by the pentalobe screw include the do-it-yourself geek site Accusing Apple of “taking planned obsolescence to the next level,” iFixit is nevertheless taking advantage of the opportunity by selling the iPhone 4 Liberation Kit, which includes the coveted pentalobe screwdriver. Not everyone is so put out. Apple service techs deal with a lot of products that have been damaged by users prying them open to replace the battery or fix a glitch. Plus, most people are more concerned about what a gadget does, not why. For those appalled by the pentalobe screw, there’s always Android.


Ars Technica



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