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Why Liberate My iPhone? ¶
Removing the Pentalobe screws on the bottom of the iPhone and replacing them with Phillips screws accomplishes two tasks.
- It future-proofs your iPhone. In the unfortunate event that your iPhone needs repair, you will be all set to make any repair necessary. Phillips screwdrivers are widely available, whereas Pentalobe screwdrivers are not. In situations where getting the battery out of the iPhone as quickly as possible—such as after dropping the iPhone into water—you will be all set.
- It sends a message. When people see your iPhone in all its liberated glory, they will know that you don't stand for restrictions on your hardware. You believe that repair choices should be up to that owner, that repair should be easy, accessible, and affordable.
What's a Pentalobe Screw? ¶
A Pentalobe screw head is similar to a Torx—except that the points have a rounder shape, and it has five points instead of six. Apple’s service manuals refer to them as “Pentalobular” screws, contrary to what some folks may say, this is not a security Torx screw. Security Torx have a post in the middle. Apple would never use a real Torx security screw with a post for two reasons: they’re ugly, and the posts break off easily with screw heads this small.
Why is it in my iPhone? ¶
Pentalobe screws are unique to Apple's hardware. In the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, they are used only on the outside of the phone, and they have one clear purpose: to keep you out of your iPhone.
So, don't be fooled into thinking that you have to let Apple lock you out of your iPhone! Install these Phillips screws today, and look forward to a brighter, happier, liberated tomorrow.
March 11, 2014
My Refurbished iPhone 5 which I got as a replacement for my original iPhone 5 bought at release is about 6 months old at this point and has recently started having really weird battery behaviors. Battery percentage dropping suddenly, phone turning off at 12-15% remaining battery capacity, not holding charge as it used to. The battery needed to go!
After watching the video and reading through the teardown of the iPhone 5 (and having done a similar replacement on an older iPhone 4S), I was confident in my ability to perform the battery swap and liberate my phone. The instructions were clear and the entire process from start to end (including watching the videos) took about 30 minutes.
Work in a quiet environment without outside disturbances, do not rush and if something isnt going the way you intended, rewatch the teardown video or read through the guide again. The internal screws are minuscule so be careful with regards to their placement.
March 5, 2014
I had severe problem with the ear speaker and it started to develope battery discharge issues. I live in a remote area where servicing will take 2-3 weeks. And I have a terrible fixation with understanding everything I use.
The repair when swimmingly, until I got a little over zealous with cleaning the guts out with a cotten swab and isopropyl alcohol. I broke off a (what I assume to be a shield contact arm for the ear speaker) thing, and soldered it back together. I cleaned both parts with aforementioned alcohol and put just a titch liquid RMA flux on both. Then while the flux dried I set my iron to 200c. I then applied just a scosch of solder to both sides of the joint and joined them. Clean again (more carefully) test the joint are voila!
Read the above. Be patient, thorough, and patient. And don't forget Occam's Razor.
January 4, 2014
My Power/Lock button stopped working about a year into having the phone. I finally decided, with the upgrade to iOS7 and loosing my jailbreak, that I would attempt to fix the problem.
I followed the steps listed in the guide slowly, labeling all the screws and taping them down to paper. I did not have any problems with following the guide. Still not sure if just changing the metal button or having to change the button inside with the ribbon connection and the metal button at same time is best. So far the change in the metal button has worked, but still does not feel like it works the same as new.
Tape down and label all the little screws to paper.
Look into changing the Audio and Power Cable at the same time, might have better results than just changing the metal button.
Look into changing the battery as well. For $25, I'm sure its worth having a better battery that your original iP5 battery.
November 23, 2013
June 13, 2013
I've managed to own some generation of an iPhone since the first one was released, and while I have dropped them several times, I'd never broken a screen. The screen was so badly damaged that the right side didn't even respond to touch anymore.
Those screws are really tiny! The iFixit guide was very clear and helpful. I appreciated little notes like, "it may require a lot of force to remove, this part is fitted very tightly," that gave me confidence I wasn't going to break anything.
After about 30 minutes I had everything back together and everything working again.
Make sure you don't have too much coffee before trying to handle those tiny screws and connectors. Be sure to make notes about which screws go where for reassembly.
February 7, 2013
When I bought my iPhone 5 (at launch day in Canada) I didn't notice till a month later that there was a manufacturing flaw which was one of the screws wasn't screwed flush with the bottom of the phone. It was a very minor flaw that, on the whole, one could live with. However you would notice it every time you ran your finger along the bottom. It of course wasn't an issue until I bought the app Cycloramic. When in use my phone would wobble and tilt over due to the uneven bottom. Here's the thing, I actually went into the Apple store and they tightened the screw for me. I of course got a minor lecture from one of he geniuses that I should have made an appointment, but they would graciously do it for me. However, just in case, I didn't want it to come loose hence my need to liberate my phone.
It took me all of 3 min. to complete the swap! I spent less time swapping the screws myself than I did waiting for those "geniuses" to fix the flaw. This doesn't even rate on the difficulty scale it was so easy.
Get the kit if you haven't yet. If you ever need to do any repairs/mods to your phone it's best that it has screws that require a readily available screwdriver (philips head) not some weird pentalobe driver. Swapping screws is EASY as long as you know how to hold a screwdriver.