iLounge learned last week that starting in May Apple will no longer be selling clear plastic screen protectors in their stores.
There have been several theories as to why Apple would decide to do this. I don’t believe it to be any one reason but a combination of several. For one, shelf space is valuable and if Apple doesn’t believe that their devices need screen protectors, they aren’t going to sell them anymore. The current iPhone and iPod touch screens don’t scratch all that easy, they is much more likely to crack than scratch. Apple has seemingly taken the stance that if you think that flimsy piece of plastic is going to protect your device, you can get it elsewhere.
Secondly, these screen protectors are incredibly difficult to apply. I went through my InvisibleShield phase, I bought three of them for three separate devices and finally gave up for good. Those things are darn near impossible to put on straight, not to mention all the dust and whatnot that inevitably ends up on it in the time it takes for you to take it out of the package and actually apply it to your device.
And lastly, Screen protectors may have been a good idea back before the iPhone, when screens weren’t made with such high quality material but the glass that Apple is using on the iPhone is absolutely superb. And the oleophobic coating on the screen does a great job of keeping all those nasty fingerprints away.
Speaking of the iPhone’s screen, I’ve never publicly told this story before but I think now is as good of a time as any to do so. When I was waiting in line for the original iPhone in 2007 I was behind a man who claimed to have a piece of the glass that Apple used on the iPhone. He said that Corning Inc. was the company who developed the glass and it was originally designed to be used for windows. It was incredibly sturdy glass but unfortunately it was just too heavy to be used in windows. Corning inevitably ended up shelving it for a while. It wasn’t until Apple contacted them about using glass for their displays that their glass finally had a home.
After telling his story the man went to his car to get the piece of glass, it was cut exactly in the same dimensions and size of the iPhone’s glass front. It even had the holes for the home button and speaker.
I haven’t been able to confirm whether his glass was actually the same glass that was used on the iPhone but I do live near Corning, NY (where Corning Inc. is located) and it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities for his story to be completely true. I saw it and touched it, and when I got home with my brand new iPhone that night, the similarity between the two pieces of glass were uncanny.
Of course, It’s also possible that he made the glass himself as a great way to impress the other people in line at the AT&T store, but I choose to take him at his word.