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Apple Banning More Than Apps: Goodbye Screen Protectors?



According to an iLounge report, Apple is getting rid of protective screen films from its retail and online stores. There’s no clear reason why Apple’s doing this. Film protectors are some of the most popular accessories at the Apple store, and something that Apple’s own retail reps always seem to push.
According to one company that sells protective films:

Apple has said that it will remove both film-only solutions from its stores, as well as any case or other accessory that includes film protection as part of its package, such as cases that include film screen protectors. According to sources, the ban will impact all forms of screen film, including completely clear film, anti-glare film, and mirrored film, regardless of whether the purpose of the film is protective, decorative, or both. It will also prevent sales of film for iPods, iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers.

That’s right, not only is Apple banning the relatively affordable plastic sheets that you can slap on your iPod’s or iPhone’s display, the company’s also getting rid of any case that incorporates screen protection.

I’m guessing that many manufacturers will continue to produce these products and sell them outside of Apple stores, but this move may hurt both the manufacturers and consumers. Despite Apple’s best efforts, any device with a clear display is prone to scratching over time, especially if it’s stored in a user’s pocket along with keys. Hopefully, Apple doesn’t issue marching orders to its salespeople to tell consumers that the protectors are no longer necessary.

Scratches and screen damage are not covered by Apple’s warranty and if you plan on keeping an iPhone scratch-free for two years I highly recommend buying some protection. Starting in may you’ll have to look further than the Apple store.



  1. Warner Crocker

    03/17/2010 at 10:59 am

    Maybe they just need shelf space. Other than that this makes no sense to me.

    • Xavier Lanier

      03/17/2010 at 11:40 am

      That’s what I hope. I guess we’ll be able to learn more about Apple’s intentions if they ban them from its online store as well.

  2. Sumocat

    03/17/2010 at 11:40 am

    Like the average Russky, Apple doesn’t take a dump without a plan. So what might they be planning?

    1. They’re switching displays to something like Gorilla Glass. A screen protector over Gorilla Glass is like putting tin over titanium.

    2. They’re partnering exclusively with one screen protector provider or providing their own.

    3. They’re putting oleophobic coatings over all displays and don’t want to sell films that ruin it.

    4. The margin on screen protectors is too low to continue carrying them.

    Given Apple’s propensity for price markup, I doubt that last one is likely, but there’s no way Apple or any retailer would discontinue an item that’s an easy upsell without some plan in place. Guess we’ll find out what that is in May.

  3. Oliver

    03/17/2010 at 11:53 am

    Palm used to include screen protectors with some of their handhelds (I know I got them with some of my Treos). Maybe Apple’s going down that route.

  4. tabletenvy

    03/17/2010 at 4:20 pm

    Probably all optics. Don’t want to suggest there’s something flimsy about the design of their screen.

    Kind of like people driving their Toyotas with big tires strapped to the bumpers…. just in case. Not good for sales.

  5. Mickey Segal

    03/17/2010 at 9:38 pm

    I bet Steve Jobs never scratched his iPhone so he decided the protectors are unnecessary. I’ve never scratched mine either (or the screen of a Tablet) and I’ve never used a screen protector.

    I’ve tried to talk my kids into getting rid of their screen protectors, but they said no. But I’m not the sort of person to go beyond that and try to take them away.

  6. Chris hickie

    03/18/2010 at 5:50 am

    Well, Apple doesn’t rule the world on this one, yet.

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