Apple Installs Tamper-Proof Screws After iPhone 4 RepairsApple (APPL) has started replacing conventional the Phillips screws on its iPhone 4s with tamper-proof screws when the phones are brought in for service, Reuters reported, citing Apple parts suppliers and others familiar with the process.

Apple likely started swapping in the Pentalobe screws from Japan last fall, the wire service said. With the new screws in place, customers will have to go to Apple to get batteries replaced, which is free when the phone's under warranty but costs $79 when it's not, according to Reuters.

The company has long been known for both technology platforms that can't be integrated with those of other component makers, and for its secretive nature when it comes to its technology. Apple declined to comment on the matter to Reuters.

Apple sold more than 16 million iPhones during its most recently completed quarter. The company last month boosted its first-quarter iPhone shipments by as much as 10% to about 21 million deliveries, indicating that the company is confident of continued sales momentum despite growing competition from companies such as Research in Motion (RIMM), DigiTimes reported last month, citing people working with Taiwan-based component suppliers that it didn't identify.

The iPhone, which was first introduced in 2007 and whose fourth generation was unveiled in June, continues to be a significant profit source for Apple. In October, Apple said fiscal fourth-quarter earnings surged 70% from a year earlier, partially because almost doubled its iPhone sales over the period.

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It's more fishy to use a non-standard fastener in order to make repairs or replacement of parts more difficult. You see the cost of the kit in terms of lattes while Apple measures the costs of using Phillips screws to be the potential loss of revenue from selling new devices. They don't make as much money when users repair their own equipment and thereby extend the lifespan -- so your real end cost isn't a $10 kit to replace the screws (e. g., so you can replace your own battery in your own Macbook Air) but rather hundreds of dollars to replace the entire otherwise-functional device. More info about iPhone:

January 21 2011 at 8:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Isn't Apple then tampering with a product that isn't theirs? If the people bought their iPhones, when Apple changes their screws, Apple is then stealing from the iPhone's owner.

January 21 2011 at 7:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Simply use a left handed drill bit in a variable speed reversible drill.
The flutes of the drill bit catch on the lobes & it unscrews.
You can get small left-handed drill bits at most hardware stores for a few dollars...Al-

January 21 2011 at 6:38 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply