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Summary:

If you’re of the camp that believes your iPhone or iPod touch’s screen needs some kind of additional protective layer to prevent it from getting damaged, you may want to head to the Apple store soonish to stock up on said accessories. In the very near […]

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If you’re of the camp that believes your iPhone or iPod touch’s screen needs some kind of additional protective layer to prevent it from getting damaged, you may want to head to the Apple store soonish to stock up on said accessories. In the very near future, you might not be able to find them, at least not through Apple’s official channels, according to sources speaking to Macworld.

The sources, who are described as Apple accessory makers who want to remain anonymous for fear of arousing Cupertino’s ire, maintain that Apple has informed them it will no longer be carrying any films or covers aimed at protecting iPhone screens from dust or scratches, or even those that claim to prevent glare and ensure privacy.

If the sources are correct, all of these types of accessories will be pulled from the Apple Store, both in its online and physical retail incarnations, as will any other accessories that stick to the surface of Apple devices. The blanket ban on anything adhesive makes sense, since these apparently have a very high return rate because of the difficulty in applying them properly.

The ban on films that “protect” the screen also makes a good deal of sense, mostly because that’s a ludicrous claim to begin with. It’s like being sold insurance against possible gryphon attack. It’s just not going to do anything, besides maybe instill a false sense of security. Think about it: do you buy protective films for your eyeglasses?

Because it’s the same exact thing. Or maybe even more ridiculous, depending on the quality of your glasses. Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch screens are made of optical glass, which is the most scratch-resistant glass in existence. I personally have owned two iPhones and two iPod touches, none of which have ever borne any kind of screen protection. I’ve dropped them all countless times, and even kept them in pockets with change and other knick-knacks, and the screens are pristine. The back cases? Not so much.

I’m not advising against due diligence here. Generally speaking, I keep my iPhone in a pocket designated for it alone, or with a pack of gum or something else non-abrasive, though sometimes I forget and throw it in with my keys. Still, keeping it loose in a bag of sand probably isn’t a great idea.

But Apple’s doing a great service to customers with this move, even if that what’s motivated it to begin with. The absence of screen protectors on Apple Store shelves should hopefully go a long way toward curbing unnecessary accessory purchases. Unless you shop at Best Buy, in which case you’ll probably come home with three screen protectors and a product service plan.

  1. I’m sure that some readers like having gryphon attack insurance. Pays your money take your choice. Personally I have an anti-glare sheet on mine because just like my anti-glare MBP it’s easier to use and less irritating than the screen in the raw…

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    1. Protector screens are usefull and helps in case of accidental splash of liquid so I would highly recommend them. Found some iphone accessories on http://www.etalksystem.com.

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  2. I don’t have a screen protector from scratches or drops – but my finger does glide better with it (depending on brand) and it is easier to wipe clean when my fingers isn’t the cleanest – especially while eating and typing.

    Even my gaming experience on my iphone is better with a protective sheet.

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  3. Hey apple! Apple, hey!

    Hey Apple, why then my iPod Touch 2nd Gen has a deep scratch and several little ones? I don’t use to carry this gadget with diamonds in my pocket.

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  4. I agree. And no matter the reason, Apple has no obligation to sell anything that they don’t want to sell. People can buy the protective films elsewhere if they think they need them.

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  5. “But Apple’s doing a great service to customers with this move…”

    Is that a serious statement? Because I cannot imagine how *limiting* customer choices is great service.

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    1. Is that a serious question? Whether you address with the stated reasons or not, at least 1/3 of the article addresses this question. I will not quote it all:

      “The ban on films that “protect” the screen also makes a good deal of sense, mostly because that’s a ludicrous claim to begin with…The absence of screen protectors on Apple Store shelves should hopefully go a long way toward curbing unnecessary accessory purchases.”

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    2. His reasons are directly contradicted by almost every single comment to this post noting the fact that the protectors actually protect the screen based on their experience, and that they find them useful.

      It looks like many people (including all the commenters), do not think that a screen protector is an “unnecessary” purchase.

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    3. Lots of products want space in the store. I guess they are running out of space with the IPad release.

      I wish Apple would stop selling external hard drives in the store and just leave them on the online store. Their store hard drive selection is the worst. Also they can ditch the small selection of printers and large Harman Kardon speaker systems that are way over priced for the average user.

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    4. “I cannot imagine how *limiting* customer choices is great service.”

      Then you probably aren’t a Mac user to begin with.

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  6. “But Apple’s doing a great service to customers with this move”

    Are you serious? I love Apple products just as much as other people that read your blog, but the spin you put on this situation is absolutely ridiculous!

    Apple doing great service to customers by removing something that customers obviously like to use?

    I use anti-glare film just for that… to reduce the glare. It also protects my screen from scratches, because my keys managed to put a few very deep ones on my screen, until i put on the protector.

    Also, I had my phone replaced and forgot to purchase a screen protector. I dropped the phone on the ground *right outside the store* on my way out and broke the screen into hundreds little pieces. Walked back into the store and ended up paying $200 just to replace the damn screen!

    Now i have the screen protector, and dropped the phone multiple times, face down on the pavement. The screen took the damage, instead of $200 glass

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    1. You can buy a new iPhone glass screen on Amazon for $25. Watched a tutorial on YouTube and fixed my iPhone in two hours, since I was being very careful. Totally worth the time.

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  7. Those screen protectors may not be available at Apple, but I reckon they’ll be available manufacturer direct or on Amazon. I sure hope so. I think the screen protector has done its job for me on more than one occasion. I recall one time that i was walking while reading something on my iPhone (I know, probably like running with scissors), I reached a curb I did not see. Stepping off unknowingly, I dropped my phone, which landed face down followed by my foot on top of it. I picked up the phone. No cracks! but there was gravel ground into the screen protector. peeled it off and replaced the protector with NO damage at all to my screen. Now maybe the screen could have withstood that trauma by itself, but I’d rather not find out the hard way…

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  8. The first “screen protector” I got was glossy. Hated it. Finally found a matte one and I’ve used them since. My main problem is that I have greasy hands and I needed to clean the screen every single time I touched the phone. Now I clean it off maybe once a day if I notice a big smudge.

    I still haven’t found a case I like. Tried about five and none work well. They usually end up hurting because a piece of dust gets between the case and the phone. My last case attempt actually cut me when it splintered (hard shell plastic case).

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    1. Exactly. My screen “protector” is just so I don’t feel the compulsion to wipe the screen every 20 seconds…

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  9. I do agree that the face of the iPhone/Touch are very hard to scratch, but it is possible. I have a 1st gen and 2nd gen Touch and both have some minor scrathing on the face of them, but nothing to cry about, but for those very picky uptight people, the screen protector may just be something they want as a “just in case” option.

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    1. Keys will scratch the screen if you dump the Iphone in a pocket or purse.

      One plus is the store people will sometimes help you put the film on it. I hate doing it and running bubbles out from under the film.

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  10. Congrats on your iPhone pants pocket protector. I have not been so lucky. I had my iPhone 3gs 3 weeks and I already had several scratches on the glass. Of course the problem was solved when I cracked the screen. I now have a screen protector and a hard case that I bought at the Apple Store when getting the screen replaced. The iClerk sold me what he used. Best investment I ever made.

    Yeah! I know am a klutz, but that’s why there is a market for iPhone screen protectors and cases. Back in the Timex days I went through 3 or 4 a year. I finally went out and got a good swiss watch. Wish there had been lens protector for that!

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