Apple: Our Screens Don’t Need No Protecting

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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.

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