Jan 212011

I spent thousands of hours on Apple ][+ and Apple /// computers before I ever touched a PC (or a Macintosh, for that matter).  Gives me a bit of a soft spot for the company.  I wrote of it before.

I’ll tell you, though, it’s this kind of story that makes it ever easier for me to dislike what Apple has become.

Here’s the deal:  you take your iPhone in for a battery change (which is $79 if out of warranty), and the Apple shop takes the Phillips screws out of your phone.  After they replace the battery, they reassemble it with pentalobe screws.  They do this without telling you.  The article says that pentalobe screwdrivers are “not commercially available.”

I’m mystified as to why Apple is so brazenly hostile to its customers, particularly for what must ultimately be very little gain.  For one thing, I’m sure the percentage of iPhone owners who want to open an iPhone to change the battery themselves is quite low.  Opening small electronic devices is intimidating, because the price of a mistake is high.  It’s not like they’re going to realize millions more dollars from this change.

For another, a market economy responds very rapidly to such a thing as a screwdriver being “not commercially available.”  Moreover, anyone with a large nail, a Dremel, and a little patience could make one—not a high-quality tool, mind, but certainly durable enough to open and close an iPhone once, yes?

Finally, it’s not much of a stretch to call this theft, is it?  The Phillips screws belong to you, do they not?

Apple, stuff like this is sorry.  Worse (for you), it’s just stupid.  You’re alienating a portion of your customers who are probably some of your biggest fans.  Also, you’re giving someone like me, a consumer you’d like to have but don’t currently, a reason to keep walking.

Just a touch ironic the stink is about screws, isn’t it?

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 Posted by at 5:07 pm

  4 Responses to “Apple finds another way to flip its customers off”

  1. Consider that I cannot work on my own desktop unit myself. Now, if I invested more $$ in a regular tower model (which I neither need nor can afford) I would be able to do my own memory and card upgrades. But my lowly iMac… that needs to be professionally serviced.

  2. Doesn’t take long, folks. Doesn’t take long.

    Click here to purchase your very own pentalobe screwdriver. (No connection with this merchant; they just seem to be first.) 🙂

  3. iPhone 4 liberation kit. LOL.

  4. Yeah, I thought it was a good name, too!

    It’s like Apple is the popular high school kid with everything going for him—good-looking, makes good grades, athletic, the whole bit—and he lets it get to his head just enough to be an asshole. Just as senseless, too.

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