Pentalobe Screw? iFixit Says it is an Evil Apple Plot Against DIYers

Apple marches to the beat of its own digital drummer. This is probably one of the main factors of its many successes (and relatively few failures). Apple was the first computer maker to remove the floppy drive, add USB, make Bluetooth and WiFi standard features on desktop computers, and provide a webcam on every integrated computer model (ones with an integrated display).

Over the decades Apple moved from a completely open system (the Apple II) to increasingly closed systems. Today they provide unibody MacBook notebook computers which don’t even have a removable battery. Steve Wozniak’s Apple II literally had a hood that invited you to tinker with the computer hardware. Steve Jobs’ products since his 1997 return to Apple have moved closer and closer to a closed system that customers are not allowed to peek into. So, are we really surprised by this interesting finding from iFixit (the firm that takes apart nearly every new gadget)?

Apple’s Diabolical Plan to Screw Your iPhone

They found that the iPhone 4 sold in Japan has unique rounded 5-point “Pentalobe” screws instead of the common Torx 6-point screws. This screw was previously used in the mid-2009 MacBook Pro mdoel and the 2010 MacBook Air models. Even iFixit was challenged by this screw.

You can see how tiny the Pentalobe screw on the 2010 MacBook Air is in the photo above. I placed a Quarter coin next to provide relative size information. The screw used in the iPhone is even smaller.