Apple and its controversial pentalobular screws

I see the ‘net is overrun today with complaints about Apple switching to oddball Pentalobular screws (sometimes called “pentagram” screws–is that an accident, or people being snarky?) and the occasional person claiming to know where to get a Pentalobular driver for a few dollars, but few people actually being, you know, helpful.

So here’s where you can get one for $2.35, plus shipping. http://www.sw-box.com/Professional-Screw-Driver-Opening-Tool-For-Iphone-4.html
Most people say “Just Google it.” The problem if you Google it is that you find 10 pages of blogs complaining about Apple using the screws, and none of them have a link. (Maybe me posting this will change that, but I doubt it.)

I won’t say I like it, but other companies have been doing this for years. It’s well known that there’s no advantage to these oddball bits. Oddball security screwdrivers break more easily than common ones do–the owner of a video game repair shop told me he goes through one or two of them a year–and they cost a little more than a regular Philips bit, and of course you usually have to order one and wait a week for it to arrive. That compares to standard Philips or slotted drivers, which are available literally everywhere.

Arguably there are a couple of advantages to Torx bits, but most good hardware stores sell those. And if you buy one at Sears, they’ll replace it for free if it ever wears out.

This won’t affect me, as I have no plans to buy an Iphone, and my employer’s not going to hand me an Iphone and tell me to carry it either. Maybe once both my kids are out of diapers, I’ll get a smartphone, but if I do, it will run Android.

But when a problem is easily solved, I don’t like people withholding the information.

So if you have one of these devices, order one of these before you need it. And if having standard screws in your device makes you more comfortable, remove one of the screws and take it either to a good hardware store or a shop that sells and repairs eyeglasses to find a matching Philips-head machine screw and buy a half-dozen or so. The screws should cost no more than 10-15 cents apiece.

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