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iFixit Giving Away 1,776 "iPhone Liberation Kits" 260

Posted by samzenpus
from the fix-it-yourself dept.
netbuzz writes "In a clever bit of self-promotion, the do-it-yourself repair evangelists at iFixit announced today that they will be giving away 1,776 free 'iPhone liberation kits' that will allow Apple customers access to the inner workings of their devices by replacing the difficult-to-remove pentalobe screws with standard Phillips screws. 'Get a free insurance policy,' iFixit says. 'In the unfortunate event that your iPhone needs repair, you will be set to make any necessary fix. For situations when you need to get the battery out of your iPhone as quickly as possible—such as after dropping the device into water—you will be ready.'"
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iFixit Giving Away 1,776 "iPhone Liberation Kits"

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  • I agree it's annoying that the screws are a nonstandard kind. But this "liberation kit" consists of:

    1. A pentalobe screwdriver that lets you operate the iPhone screws.

    2. Some Philips head screws that you can replace the pentalobe screws with.

    But once you have #1, why do you need to do #2?

    • by dwightk (415372) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:40PM (#44094203) Homepage Journal

      then you don't have to keep the screwdriver with you

      • by idontgno (624372) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:42PM (#44094229) Journal

        Indeed.

        If you've been handcuffed and finally get the keys, why would you put the cuffs back on, even if you still have the keys? Throw away those shackles.

        • But you're still putting some cuffs back on! Just different cuffs that use a different key. I'll admit it's a key that more people own, so it could be useful to e.g. open the phone at a friend's house.

          • by icebike (68054)

            The you can find drivers for the replacement screws at any hardware store or even Walmart, and any computer geek already has a set.

            If handcuff keys were that easy to come by nobody would bother using cuffs, they'd just use zipties.

            • by g0bshiTe (596213)
              They do and I've not seen a set of cuffs that can't be removed with a sturdy paper clip, well almost none.
              • It sounds like you are only with one type, chain cuffs. They were popular for a few decades.
                They could be opened with a wire while wearing them,especially if not double locked.

                Most cuffs before and since don't have the chain in the middle, so if applied correctly it's nearly impossible to TOUCH the keyhole, much less pick it. If you can get the sound your butt and legs, you might be able to learn to pick them while holding the pick in your mouth.
            • The you can find drivers for the replacement screws at any hardware store or even Walmart, and any computer geek already has a set.

              Yup. Right next to their pentalobe driver.

        • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:48PM (#44094313)

          Because phillips heads are easily damaged when screwing and unscrewing them. And pentalobe aren't.

          If you think that screws using a better but less popular standard are "handcuffs", then you're a bit of a drama queen.

          • by Jaime2 (824950)
            We already have Torx for that.
            • by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:17PM (#44094701)
              Torx is NOT better.
              If I ever find the bastard that decided that it was a good idea to use Torx on my Jeep I will beat him to death with a sack full of the Torx bolts I have broken or stripped over the years.
              If there is even one Jeep Wrangler owner on the jury I will get away with it too. Followed by a parade in my honour.
              • by iamgnat (1015755)

                I'll vote to acquit you only if you take out the bastard that thought the "triple square" was an improvement. I have Torx bits coming out of my ass, but no my new car needs a triple square to pull the seats out. You know what those extra teeth buy you? Even more stripped bolts than Torx does!

                Is a good dead common hex bolt really too difficult?

              • by danlip (737336)

                I don't know what you are doing, and I am not familiar with Jeeps, but I have never stripped a torx and I have stripped hundreds of phillips heads. I would outlaw phillips heads if I could.

                • by kimvette (919543)

                  The problem is most industries mis-use phillips heads. They are specifically designed to cam out.

                  > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives [wikipedia.org]

                  > Created by Henry F. Phillips, the Phillips screw drive was purposely designed to cam out when the screw stalled[citation needed], to prevent the fastener damaging the work or the head, instead damaging the driver. This was caused by the relative difficulty in building torque limiting into the early drivers.

                  Your statement is akin to blaming violent crime

              • Wranglers have torx screws? Where? I want a wrangler. Don't like surprises.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by icebike (68054)

            Because phillips heads are easily damaged when screwing and unscrewing them. And pentalobe aren't.

            If you think that screws using a better but less popular standard are "handcuffs", then you're a bit of a drama queen.

            And if you think Apple chose pentalobe because Phillips was easily damaged, you are delusional.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by BasilBrush (643681)

              Straw man.

            • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:46PM (#44094987)

              Right, because switching to pentalobe stopped how many people from taking apart an iPhone?

              Let me answer for you:

              0, zero, zilch, nada, not a fucking single person who WANTED to disassemble their iPhone was stopped by this change.

              Contrary to whatever silly fantasy world you live in, 99.9999% of the population DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT DISASSEMBLING THEIR PHONE. They just use the damn thing.

              If you think Apple chose pentalobe (which has been a standard screw type available my entire life) to stop people from opening up their case to replace the soldered in battery, you're just a moron.

              ProTip: I have pentalobe drivers from my father that are older than I am. They are not uncommon in older high end cameras where you need tiny screws that don't strip when you breath on them hard.

              Phillips is designed for low quality, high volume assembly line work. Read that over and over again until you understand why apple doesn't use them anymore, on anything.

              Oh, and my local Ace Hardware carries a pentalobe driver set, seems like they would have picked an obscure head rather than something I can pickup tools for at the hardware store down the street ... don't you think?

              • Phillips was not designed for low quality. It was designed to cam-out the driver rather than strip the screw threads. Stripping the head is an accidental byproduct.
                • by Above (100351) on Monday June 24, 2013 @03:26PM (#44095427)

                  That's not quite accurate...

                  Phillips was designed for things that were generally designed to be assembled once, and not disassembled. For instance the "cam out" behavior is commonly used with special electric drivers for installing drywall in homes. If the drywall ever has to come down, there's no backing out screws. The drywall gets ripped down and the screws pulled out with a hammer.

                  If you look at the products that use phillips for assembly they are generally not intended to be field repaired. Think of a phillips as a replacement for a nail, or rivet, not some other sort of threaded fastener. In this context stripping the head was never a design concern, since removing the fastener was never a design concern. It's like saying rivets are bad because they have to be drilled out; that's kind of the point of using one.

                  • by icebike (68054) on Monday June 24, 2013 @04:19PM (#44095879)

                    Phillips was designed for things that were generally designed to be assembled once, and not disassembled.

                    Not true. Phillips was absolutely not designed for things that were never taken apart.

                    And drywall screws (ala buglehead screws) are easy to remove with a power driver, even those damaged by too much torque when installed, because the reverse plane of each slot is not damaged by to much forward torque. (I've removed entire walls of drywall which other workers put up by mistake before the insulation was installed.)

                    Yes, Phillips was designed to cam out before too much damage was inflicted, but that was only assured by screw hardness. Soft screws would often take the entire lobe out with too much torque.

                    Phillips is an industrial standard designed to solve the problem of the screw driver slipping out of the slot. It was never intended nor represented to be non-removable. That it occasionally is speaks to cheap materials.

              • Right, because switching to pentalobe stopped how many people from taking apart an iPhone?

                Wouldn't the answer be anyone who didn't have a pentalobe screwdriver? It doesn't permanently prevent anyone determined to get inside an iPhone as they can just buy one of these screwdrivers as they are not in a normal set.

                If you think Apple chose pentalobe (which has been a standard screw type available my entire life) to stop people from opening up their case to replace the soldered in battery, you're just a moron.

                No I think that Apple is betting on human nature. The more steps you put into a procedure the less likely the average person will complete the procedure. It's the same reason why syncing an iPhone/iPod is one step: plug in the cable. Now it doesn't take a genius to complete a second

              • by msauve (701917) on Monday June 24, 2013 @03:32PM (#44095473)
                Amateurtip:

                I have pentalobe drivers from my father that are older than I am. They are not uncommon in older high end cameras where you need tiny screws that don't strip when you breath on them hard...
                Oh, and my local Ace Hardware carries a pentalobe driver set...

                Come back when you known the difference between Apple's proprietary pentalobe [wikipedia.org] head, and whatever you're confusing it with.

              • by wile_e8 (958263) on Monday June 24, 2013 @03:54PM (#44095651)

                If you think Apple chose pentalobe (which has been a standard screw type available my entire life) to stop people from opening up their case to replace the soldered in battery, you're just a moron.

                ProTip: I have pentalobe drivers from my father that are older than I am. They are not uncommon in older high end cameras where you need tiny screws that don't strip when you breath on them hard.

                Are you sure about that? I thought Apple created and patented their own non-standard pentalobe screws [ifixit.com] and only sells the screwdrivers to Apple techs. It was specifically designed to not work with the screwdrivers available for camera repair or at Ace Hardware. There are many standard screws which are just as high-quality as the Apple pentalobe, going this route only serves to hinder any unauthorized "tampering" with the devices.

                I guess I can never underestimate the spin Apple fans will go through to argue that Apple's user-hostile policies are actually good for you.

              • by icebike (68054)

                If you think Apple chose pentalobe (which has been a standard screw type available my entire life) to stop people from opening up their case to replace the soldered in battery, you're just a moron.

                If you thing Apple Pentalobe has been around all your life, you had to have been born sometime around 2009.

                This is a totally nonstandard screw head, not used previously in ANYTHING. You are probably confusing it with torx, which has 6 not 5 lobes.

                Continue your education here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives [wikipedia.org]

          • Because phillips heads are easily damaged when screwing and unscrewing them.

            Probably because you're using the wrong size bit for the job.

            Or, the little bugger is so rust-caked that it has become one with the surface it fastens to. In which case, it doesn't really matter what kind of bit you use (unless it's an Easy-Out).

            • by retchdog (1319261)

              be that as it may, phillips was designed to cam-out to prevent damage from over-tightening, which is idiotic for most of its current applications.

              the only reason other screw designs aren't more common is because they were patented (and sometimes marginally more expensive to produce).

              • be that as it may, phillips was designed to cam-out to prevent damage from over-tightening, which is idiotic for most of its current applications.

                What's idiotic - over tightening the screws on a delicate electronic device, or using 'moron-resistant' screws that are designed to prevent people from over tightening fasteners (which, in the case of delicate electronics, tends to have a "shit I broke it" effect)?

                the only reason other screw designs aren't more common is because they were patented (and sometimes marginally more expensive to produce).

                Irrelevant.

                • What's idiotic - over tightening the screws on a delicate electronic device, or using 'moron-resistant' screws that are designed to prevent people from over tightening fasteners (which, in the case of delicate electronics, tends to have a "shit I broke it" effect)?

                  Fase dichotomy. For phone sized electronics you're going to be using jewellers screwdrivers, and you're not going to be overtightening to the extent of damaging the phone. But they will still strip a percentage of the Phillips heads you use them on.

                  Phillips makes sense when assembling something cheap, using a generic electric screwdriver. It's far from the best solution for hand screwing screws in electronics.

                  • What's idiotic - over tightening the screws on a delicate electronic device, or using 'moron-resistant' screws that are designed to prevent people from over tightening fasteners (which, in the case of delicate electronics, tends to have a "shit I broke it" effect)?

                    Fase dichotomy. For phone sized electronics you're going to be using jewellers screwdrivers, and you're not going to be overtightening to the extent of damaging the phone. But they will still strip a percentage of the Phillips heads you use them on.

                    Yea, gotta concede that one to ya - I have the problem of thinking in automotive/industrial terms in most mechanical discussions, since those are the fields I'm trained in... industrial machines have some big fuckin' bolts, man.

                    Side note regarding the jewellers drivers: iFixIt has a really nice kit you can buy for around $50US, with all manner of different sizes of just about every type of fastener head you can think of. Plus the extension doubles as a T-handle, for those situations where you might need a b

            • Probably because you're using the wrong size bit for the job.

              No, it's because Phillips are designed to cam out, but it's a bad design because doing so damages the head. That's why there have been so many replacement designs, from Posidriv on.

              Phillips screws are suitable for things that are screwed together once, and are never intended to be unscrewed again. Anything beyond that risks a stuck screw because the head's been stripped.

              Or, the little bugger is so rust-caked that it has become one with the surface it fastens to.

              Sure it does. The more torque you can apply without stripping the head, the more likely you are to dislodge the rust. You're far more likel

              • Probably because you're using the wrong size bit for the job.

                No, it's because Phillips are designed to cam out, but it's a bad design because doing so damages the head.

                I only seem to have the "stripping the screw head" problem when I use cheap fasteners (or an improperly sized bit), which leads me to believe it's less a design issue and more one of product quality. The expensive, higher end fasteners you can buy don't seem to have quite the stripping-out problem that I see with cheap, slave-labor produced versions.

                And yes, I have had the same damn thing happen with cheap torx fasteners as well (good luck finding a bit to fit that now-smooth circle), so it's not like the p

          • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

            Because phillips heads are easily damaged when screwing and unscrewing them. And pentalobe aren't.

            Apple couldn't have used a Torx screw to hold things together? They seems to be good enough for all those tiny screws in everyone's hard drive.

          • by unixisc (2429386)
            What about Allan jacks and the type of screws sometimes used in furniture - like is sometimes available from Ikea, and other stores?
          • If you think that screws using a better but less popular standard are "handcuffs", then you're a bit of a drama queen.

            Don't worry. Most of the people complaining about "handcuffs" don't even own iPhones. They just enjoy bitching about Apple.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:58PM (#44094477)

          If you've been handcuffed and finally get the keys, why would you put the cuffs back on, even if you still have the keys?

          Some people like handcuffs.

        • by kimvette (919543)

          > If you've been handcuffed and finally get the keys, why would you put the cuffs back on, even if you still have the keys?

          Maybe he paid good money for a dominatrix to handcuff him?

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        Why, can't iFixit simply sell the pentalobe screwdrivers?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I get the feeling you can count to "potato."

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Also, if you're going to bother replacing the screws, why not replace them with something good like torx, hex(allen key), or Robertson? Basically, anything other than phillips and slotted.
      • by jklovanc (1603149)

        Because torx, hex(allen key), and Robertson are much less common than philips. The whole reason for the kit is to use an easy to find tool (philips screwdriver) rather than a hard to find tool (pentalobe screwdriver). That objective would be defeated if the hard to find tool was replaced by an almost equally hard to find tool. Small philips screwdrivers are easy to find. Small torx, hex or robertson are not so easy to find.

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Yes, but the disadvantage of using phillips, is that the screw head may end up getting stripped, rendering your phone which was previously only able to be opened by a special screwdriver now in the state of needing a screw extractor to open it. And Torx, Hex, and Robertson aren't that rare. You can't walk into any hardware store and find them. Perhaps they only one you couldn't use would be Robertson, because they don't make them very small usually.
          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            That is not a disadvantage to phillps, that is the whole point. The screw head is designed to stripout instead of over torqueing.

            Now, using such a screw for something you want to open over and over is just stupid.

          • by roc97007 (608802)

            I have to reluctantly agree with CastrTroy. It took me a long time to warm to Torex, but they really are superior to crosshead, and the tools are fairly common.

          • by jklovanc (1603149)

            With hex or torx you need the exact tool to get the job done. With philips there are four sizes and they have some overlap. A screw that small would probably be a size 0 but a size 1 and possibly a size 2 philips screwdriver would also work. In a pinch, a sharp knife could also be used to unscrew a size 0 philips. The same can not be said for torx or hex.

            As for stripping due to repeated opening, how many times would you open your iPhone? The objective is to be able to open the phone as quickly as possible i

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by BitZtream (692029)

              If you are so clumsy/accident prone that when you buy a phone, you're worried about being able to open it quickly to remove the battery because it got wet ...

              Then you probably shouldn't be so stupid as to buy an iPhone in the first place, don't you think?

              I can say this safely because there is no fucking way you're going to open the case faster than the water causes damage, no matter how quick or what screws you have. Even if you have the screw driver in your hand, with whatever head you want, and I drop yo

              • by jklovanc (1603149)

                By your logic every phone ever dropped into water is instantly toast. That is demonstratably false as many phones have survived a dip. Getting the battery out quicly can save a phone by removing the electricity before the water seeps to a critical part. If you have to go buy a screwdriver then the chances are much smaller that one will be in time.

                • by CastrTroy (595695)
                  What I want to know is, if they are going through the trouble of making the iPhone hard to open, why not make it so that device is actually waterproof? My Garmin GPS (cost me $200) is waterproof, even though it has an external USB port. I don't see how it would be so difficult to make a waterproof cell phone. I really hate this business of having to put an extra case around my phone because they couldn't be bothered to make it a little more sturdy in the first place.
        • Because torx, hex(allen key), and Robertson are much less common than philips... Small torx, hex or robertson are not so easy to find.

          Also, with phillips screws, you can substitute a small flathead or even the tip of a knife blade in a pinch.

        • by unixisc (2429386)
          The various toolsets I've bought typically included bolts that did Allen. Not to mention that some furniture sets I bought left me in possession of hex keys. So if the screws were using slots of that shape, I'd be in luck.
          • by jklovanc (1603149)

            Do you carry you Allen keys everywhere you go? Typically, furniture Allen keys would be much too large to use on an iPhone. Every Allen key does not fit every Allen screw. The right Allen key in you toolbox at home really is not going to help you when you are away from home.

      • by HexaByte (817350)
        Hey! Don't forget Binford Splines! Us old IBM equipment repairmen still have those, too!
      • by sootman (158191)

        Slotted FTW! I want to be able to get into my phone with the same tool I use to remove lightswitch covers -- a butter knife. :-)

        (This is this reason my mom started keeping a screwdriver w/ interchangeable bits in the silverware drawer -- because that's where my dad always went when he needed to unscrew something.)

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      I agree it's annoying that the screws are a nonstandard kind. But this "liberation kit" consists of:

      1. A pentalobe screwdriver that lets you operate the iPhone screws.

      2. Some Philips head screws that you can replace the pentalobe screws with.

      But once you have #1, why do you need to do #2?

      I'd say yes, for two reasons. At some time in the future, you will have (probably) several small cross head screwdrivers, and only one pentalobe screwdriver. Second reason, it's the principal of the thing.

      • Definitions:
        principal (n.) - the chief administrator of a school
        principle (n.) - a basic truth, law, or belief

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          Definitions:
          principal (n.) - the chief administrator of a school
          principle (n.) - a basic truth, law, or belief

          Gaaah. And doing a google search to insure that one is using the right word is problematic because so many people apparently use it incorrectly.

          I used to be a big believer in the "3 feet" rule -- don't write anything without a dictionary and thesaurus within 3 feet. But google makes it easy to look stuff up. And, apparently, easy to be wrong at lightning speed.

    • Because you should be able to. That's what I find most annoying about iOS as a consumer: whenever I wanted to do something that wasn't default, apple seemed to say "Well, why do you want to do that anyway? You don't really need to. How about you not do that and instead do something else." In iOS 2 or 3, it was the background. "Why do you want to change it? It would just distract from the icons." Alert tones "We give you like five different tones for a text message, why do you want more? The ones we
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        That is not an iOS thing, that is a cult of Apple thing.

        I tried to figure out how to get FFM working on OSX and every forum post was just replied to that way. Same with getting middle click paste. Yes, I really do want it everywhere and not just the terminal.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:20PM (#44094725) Homepage

      But once you have #1, why do you need to do #2?

      Because the TSA will confiscate your #1.

    • But once you have #1, why do you need to do #2?

      I can think of a couple reasons right off:

      1) With the kit you receive a single pentalobe (is it a full driver, or just a driver bit?), which you can keep in one location. Conversely, for example, I own more phillips head screwdrivers than I care to count, spread out across at least 3 counties. Assuming you don't already own a pentalobe driver, what do you do if you lose the one driver/bit they send in the kit, or if you're no where near the toolbox you keep the pentalobe in?

      2) Unless you're the type who kee

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        1) How often are you opening your phone? WHY are you opening your phone so often that you need to have a screwdriver handy?

        2) I've never, in my life, seen anyone who has given a fuck about the screws when buying a used device. None of the reselling sites care, no one cares out side of the tiny group of slashdotters who aren't going to buy one anyway. No one pays extra for phillips screws versus pentalobe because .... ALL THE REPAIR SITES ALREADY HAVE PENTALOBE DRIVERS to deal with all the phones they get

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:53PM (#44094405)
    In the EU, including Britain, the customer has certain rights against the seller to fix problems even after the manufacturer's warranty runs out. An essential part of this is that the seller has to fix problems for some time if the buyer can prove that the problem was there when the item was purchased.

    Now you turn up with your iPhone not working and all the screws replaced. "Hey Apple (or O2, or Vodaphone, or whoever sold it), the phone doesn't work and it sure must be your fault because I never opened it". "So how do you explain that all the screws have been replaced? You most definitely opened that phone. "
    • You put the old screws back before you turn it in.
      • You put the old screws back before you turn it in.

        That's what I love about slashdot - quick, witty comebacks that fall apart when you look closely. So they give you a special screwdriver and replacement screws so you can put in the replacement screws and don't need a special screwdriver which you might lose, in case the phone has problems and you want to open it. But now you have to keep the special screwdrivers, the special screws, and a philips screwdriver in case you need to replace the screws when the phone has problems.

        In other words, you just crea

        • And these screws are tiny, and what are the bets they are gone when you need them?

          Want another quick and witty comeback? You keep them in the same box where you keep the warranty card. Because, you know, you have to keep *that* one anyway.

    • by cockpitcomp (1575439) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:11PM (#44094613)
      Just explain that replaced one screw at a time, therefore, the phone was never "open". The great thing about phone companies is they are always very understanding of their customers and willing to work with you rationally.
      • Just explain that replaced one screw at a time, therefore, the phone was never "open". The great thing about phone companies is they are always very understanding of their customers and willing to work with you rationally.

        It's up to you to prove that you didn't cause the damage. Not up to them to prove the opposite.

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          By that logic, they can just go ahead and say you opened it, even if the original screws are in there. And you'd have to prove that you didn't open it and replace the screws, which would be impossible. If they want to fault you for opening the phone, they should have some sort of sticker or other mechanism which is destroyed upon actually opening the phone.
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Replacing the screws so that commonly available tools can be used to work on it, tells me that the owner intends to fix it themselves, which makes this scenario unimportant. Besides, as someone else said, in the unlikely event you have a real out-of-warranty coverage scenario, you can always put the original screws back in.

      Incidentally, car owners have been doing this for many years.

  • I assume with the turn of a screw you also void the warranty?
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      I assume with the turn of a screw you also void the warranty?

      Enh. What makes me uncomfortable about this question is the unspoken assumption that everyone dumps their i-device for the "latest and greatest" right about the time the warranty runs out. I think the general answer is, if you're planning to fix it yourself (BTW, good for you!) then the warranty does not apply.

    • Re:Warranty (Score:4, Informative)

      by gnasher719 (869701) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:51PM (#44095063)

      I assume with the turn of a screw you also void the warranty?

      No. For warranty the manufacturer would have to prove that you caused the damage. For statutory rights in the EU after the warranty runs out _you_ have to prove that _you_ didn't cause it.

    • by retchdog (1319261)

      you can just replace the old screws. i doubt they'd notice.

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:03PM (#44094519)

    The rest of you can burn in Hell if you want, but in THIS house, we stick to Father Steve's teachings.

    • The rest of you can burn in Hell if you want, but in THIS house, we stick to Father Steve's teachings.

      The zookeeper says: Please don't feed the trolls.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Of course he did not. This is absolute heresy. I imagine the Apple police are suiting up.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:21PM (#44094735) Journal

    I've been fixing ipods for years as a side business. [1] I don't make enough to be worth my time. The only reason I do it is that it offends me that such a popular device is considered disposable when the parts that break/wear out are replaceable. It seems to me that someone could really make a go at this, and I'm very happy that someone is.

    [1] If you're interested, the things most needing replacement in my experience are (a) the cheap plastic headphone jack (b) the battery and (c) the screen in that order. All the parts and the tools you need have been available online for some time (although they used to be hard to find; common now) and it's not hard to do. But I can sometimes see why Apple doesn't want you to look inside. For instance, the commercial Sandisk SD card soldered onto the circuit board of the ipod mini. (They didn't even bother to take the label off.)

  • If so they should have a CD of roms or something as well. There's a lot of software out there that's not on the apple store and can make a phone more robust (backups) etc.

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