Apple Reportedly Invents Asymmetric Screw to Keep Us Out of Its Gadgets

“My gut feel is that this isn’t from Apple,” says Kyle Wiens, of iFixit

By on August 9th, 2012 12:41 GMT

The image to the left shows a rendering of a potential new type of screw developed by Apple in Cupertino, California, in an attempt to keep prying hands off its hardware. Repair shop iFixit says the implications are severe, should this leak prove accurate.

Apple goes to great lengths to design screws that can only be manipulated using special tools.

The Pentalobe screws used in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are a good example of that. While some repair shops sell screwdrivers that can unmount them, there are no known tools that can unscrew the piece photographed above.

It goes without saying that Apple is at the top of a long list of potential designers for this piece of hardware, though iFixit’s Kyle Wiens is not convinced.

Speaking to the people at Cultofmac, Wiens said, “If this were an Apple design, it would be concerning. Service technicians of all kinds need access to hardware.”

“We regularly sell pentalobe screwdrivers to forensic investigators who depend on our tools for important investigations."

"Recyclers all over the world to dismantle products, and Apple has historically relied on the open market (third parties like us) to supply their recyclers with the tools they need to recycle Apple products,” wrote Wiens.

“My gut feel is that this isn’t from Apple. The threads are unrealistic, and I suspect that a head like that is too complex to use as a tool head. Existing tool designs tend to be simple because the head needs to withstand a fair amount of torque,” he explained.

Furthermore, he said, “If this is an Apple design, it looks like it would be expensive to manufacture. Apple uses tiny screws, and that’s a lot of complexity.”

That’s not to say it’s impossible for Apple to employ this particular type of screw for things like the Mac Pro, or the iMac, or even the MacBook Pro.

However, let’s not get carried away. It’s only just a 3D rendering of the hardware, which probably means it hasn’t even been manufactured yet.

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