Sunday, January 23, 2011

New iPhone 4 screws makes a mountain out of a molehill

Apple's recent decision to alter the default type of screws that hold the iPhone 4's case shut has suddenly received a lot of attention. iFixit, an indispensable website and a company I adore, put out this PSA-type video, voicing their woes associated with Apple's new "pentalobe" screws.

Apparently, if you take your iPhone 4 into an Apple Store for repair, after opening the case, the Geniuses behind the Bar replace those common Phillips screws with something a little less easy to bypass.

Everyone seems to be against Apple on this, and I too don't see it that necessary to change screw types, if only because if somebody really wants to open their iPhone, I'm pretty sure they can find a way. In fact, some have already found that a simple flathead screwdriver can do the trick.

However, my problem with all this is that iFixit and most other folks in the media are missing an important point completely. As iFixit claims, "Once I've purchased it, it's mine to do with as I please." I agree with that. But HELLO! Do you guys have any clue about the idea of subsidization? When someone buys an iPhone at a subsidized price of $199, they don't entirely own that phone. AT&T owns part of that phone. Then you have to pay it off for the next two years by contract.

While in those first two years the purchaser doesn't entirely own that iPhone, Apple, who takes care of the cost of repairs in almost any incident of its demise, wants to look after those phones just as much as the user. Because, while covered by AppleCare, if you reach in that phone that you, Apple and AT&T all partially own, and screw it up, why should it then fall on Apple to pay for the user's ignorance?

What bother's me more is the apocalyptic-type wording iFixit likes to use in this video. For one, it's a "diabolical" plan to "screw" your iPhone. Yes, simply changing screw types is so like, evil and stuff, right? And of course it will "screw" it up -- your iPhone -- I mean, your iPhone that also still belongs in part to AT&T. Secondly, as iFixit says, it's also an "insidious" way to "sabotage" their own product. Oh please...

Besides, they're just screws.

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