iFixit ▪ May 5

Decades ago, every electronic device was sealed with one of two types of screws: a minus-shaped Flat/Slot head, or a plus-shaped Phillips head. There was no concept — at least, for common consumer electronics — that average people shouldn’t be able to unscrew their gadgets and take them apart. And the only reason to have multiple Flat or Phillips head screwdrivers was to handle bigger or smaller screws.

Times have changed, and “security screws” have become increasingly common. Apple actually started using tamper-resistant screws in its Macs years ago, but when it added Pentalobe screws to the iPhone 4, the media took notice, and there was a brief public flare-up (actual sample headline: “Apple iPhone 4 Uses ‘Evil,’ Tamper-Proof Screws”). Despite initial frustration, however, the solution turned out to be simple: buy an inexpensive Pentalobe screwdriver, or alternately, a multi-bit screwdriver with tons of different bits, like iFixit’s 54-Bit Driver Kit.

I’ve been using iFixit’s kit for so long and across so many great Mac upgrade projects that I consider it essential to my office; if a Mac, hard drive, or other peripheral needs to be opened, the 54-Bit Driver Kit almost always can do it. But since most people have no idea what Pentalobe, Torx, Tri-Wing, Hex and other bits look like or are supposed to do, I’ve assembled this guide to explain them all, focusing on the ones used in Apple products. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll have a good sense of the world of security screws, and the reasons it’s handy to keep a kit around to open anything up…

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iFixit ▪ May 1

Following its usual teardown of the Apple Watch, iFixit today released its first repair guides for Apple’s new device covering screen, NFC antenna, and battery replacements, as well as the process of safely replacing adhesives during repair.

When it comes to the NFC antenna, iFixit warns that it’s easy to damage the component when opening the Apple Watch for any repair, meaning replacement or repair might be necessary: expand full story


The Apple Watch wasn’t long out before iFixit did its usual teardown. Research firm IHS always takes longer, as it seeks to identify the components and find out what they cost. The result, it says, is that the component cost of the 38mm Apple Watch Sport – the cheapest model – totals $81.20, with manufacturing costs taking the total cost-price to $83.70.

Tim Cook made a pointed reference to this type of cost estimate during last week’s earnings call, saying that “I’ve never seen one that is anywhere close to being accurate” – though he was likely making a broader point …  expand full story

iFixit ▪ April 24


iFixit’s teardown of the Apple Watch has revealed that the sophisticated heart-rate monitor used is actually capable of acting as a pulse oximeter, allowing it to calculate the oxygen content of your blood by measuring how much infrared light is absorbed. This data would be useful for health and fitness monitoring, but the functionality is not currently enabled in the watch.

As iFixit notes, there are a couple of possible reasons Apple is not currently allowing to watch to display this data …  expand full story

iFixit ▪ April 23

iFixit ▪ April 15

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