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Cellphones Handhelds Hardware Hacking Iphone Apple Build Technology

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

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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  • 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 BasilBrush (643681) on Monday June 24, 2013 @01:27PM (#44094809)

    Straw man.

  • by Above (100351) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:26PM (#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 BasilBrush (643681) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:32PM (#44095467)

    So let me get this straight -- are you putting forth the argument that Apple chose to use pentalobe screws for their customers' convenience? That they wanted to ensure that the heads wouldn't be stripped by the frequent screwing/unscrewing that they could expect?

    The world is more complicated than the single reason for everything attitude of most posters.

    For sure Pentalobe was chosen to discourage ordinary users from opening their devices. Yet it presents no barrier for techies, whether in the employ of Apple or not.

    And it IS a better screw design, less easily damaged, whoever opens up the device.

  • by msauve (701917) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:32PM (#44095473)

    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.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981