Pentalobe Screwdriver: How To Find One? — Guide on Opening your iPhone 4

Posted on 22 January 2011 by author

Well, well, well, what do we have here? It seems like Mr. Jobs and company are thinking of “sealing” their precious i-Gadgets for good. According to blog reports, Apple will be implementing a new type of screw design for its new batches of iPhones called “pentalobe” screws.

Apple is reported to change the previously standard “Torx” type screws on the iPhone 4 to the new pentalobe-type screws. This isn’t the first time Apple used this type of screw. It was first implemented on 2009 MacBook Pros to prevent users from replacing its battery. The same type of screws were also used in the current MacBook air. The downside? It could result to a more expensive parts replacement since they have to bring the defective gadgets to a registered Apple shop. On the positive side, Apple gadgets will be tougher to hack /tamper resistant.

Among the affected gadgets of these new type of screws are:

  • 2009 MacBook Pro
  • 2010 MacBook Air
  • Non-US iPhone 4 units
  • New US iPhone 4 batches

Also, it was reported by ifixit that users who bring their defective iPhones to Apple, they will replace it with the pentalobe screws (talking about literally “getting screwed by a screw”). The iPhone 4 will have the smallest type of these tamper-resistant screws to replace its current Torx-type screws.

The reason for this move wasn’t clear but from what we heard apparently, Apple wants its users not to mess with the phone’s hardware. The pentalobe screws were only placed on the outside portion of the device. So, if you could find a suitable hardware to “unscrew” these guys then you can replace them with standard screws.


ifixit presents a brilliant hardware solution which is more like a “hack” since the tip of the driver is not exactly pentalobe in shape. According to the site, the star-shaped screwdriver is only a temporary solution until the user can replace the pentalobes with a standard-shaped screws. The guys on ifixit calls it the “iPhone 4 Liberation Kit” and is currently available for only $9.95. The package consists of a pentalobe driver, 2 replacement PHILLIPS screws and a regular #00 Phillips screwdriver.

You can get the kit on their website. MacBook Air and pro liberation kits are also available so go ahead and check them out!



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