back to article Apple bins iPhone covers

Apple has stopped selling screen protectors, arguing that the iPhone and iPad should be tough enough without them. iLounge noticed empty shelves in the Apple shop this morning as Cupertino pulled listings for screen protectors, on the grounds that the availability of scratch-resistant plastic covers undermines confidence in …

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Pointless

I've never seen the point of these things at all, and they can look messy if not applied carefully.

The iPhone / iPod touch screen is glass so you'd have to be pretty hard on it to scratch it in normal use. I've had an 1st gen iPod touch since the day of release and an iPhone 3GS since September and neither have any scratches on them whatsoever.

I've never understood people who spend a good wad of money on something, then just chuck it around with their keys, coins and whatever other crap they carry around, and then are surprised they get scratches on them.

If you just take reasonable care over your (expensive) gadgets screen protectors aren't necessary.

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WTF?

Newsflash

Apparently not everyone carries this object around in a crib with three wise men tailing behind.

It's a phone...not a ming vase. Chucking it around is par for the course. I would personally want mine encased in rubber with a film of stuff over it so it doesn't get scratched. This seems like a ploy.

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Doens't matter

I'm on my second iPhone. The wife now has my first.

I beat the SHIT out of mine. No case, no protector. It's dropped regularly.

My first iPhone managed to get 2 small scratches after 2 years of constant abuse. One was falling out of my shirt pocket screen down onto one of the tines in the dishwasher on which the protective rubber coating had worn off. Honestly I'm surprised it didn't skewer right through the device. The other time was when running in the rain it popped out of my pocket, landed on the driveway screen down, and I stepped on it and slid a few feet. It got one more noticeable scratch, and other so tiny it took looking under a good light to notice it

This glass it VERY tough. It;s not like the near plastic quality glass on other devices, not the lower grade glass on the original Nano's. This stuff is near diamond tough. Anything that could actually cause damage to this glass is gonna go right through a screen protector anyway. keys in your pocket, fingernails, bumping around in a purse, these things are NOT going to scratch the iPhone glass.

I keep my iPhone either in a shirt pocket with my pen, or in my jeans pocket with keys and a bluetooth headset. I've had it since a few weeks after the 3GS launch, and the screen still looks factory polished (even more so when i actually polish it, though actually the shirt pocket alone does an amazing job keeping it smudge free). Not a scratch in either the glass. There's only some micro-scratches in the plastic casing, and a few dings/scuffs around the edges where its been dropped on stone or gravel.

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Stop

*cough*BULLSHITTER*cough*

<quote>...The other time was when running in the rain it popped out of my pocket, landed on the driveway screen down, and I stepped on it and slid a few feet. It got one more noticeable scratch,...</quote>

I'm calling bullshit on this. What the fuck are iPhones made out of? Unobtanium?

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WTF?

Really?

I have an iPod Touch since the release of the 2nd Gen version. Screen is scratched to hell from NORMAL use. and most of the time it sits on my desk at home as I dont bother with it if Im going to be gone for a little while.

Let me repeat that NORMAL use and its scratched to hell. Pretty sure a screen protector would have helped me here but meh I dont care. It works still so im happy.

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fanboi?!

Michael C: Okay I get that people drop their phones and it survives but your post is ridiculous. Next you'll be posting that you work in construction and one day you dropped it out of the crane you work in. The phone fell 50 meters but hey since it's a phone from apple it didn't have a scratch and you were able to post the story on facebook immediately.

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uh what?

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

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Anonymous Coward

I call bullshit too.

But ITYF that's the iPad, currently only available in unobtanium.

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Massive assumptions.......

Of course the screens should be good enough without protectors, but i would rather not find out the expensive way thanks mr Jobs. How do you know what conditions i use my phone under? I agree that the screen is probably quite tough, but if it isnt made of diamond, then i presume it can be scratched*

Also, i would like to be able to sell my phone for a reasonable amount when i upgrade next!

*yes i know diamond can also be scratched,.

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Silver badge

Maybe, maybe not

Not too worried about keys but I had my iphone in my pocket along with a Sony microvault USB stick - the spring loaded USB connection type - and when it came out it had a bastard great gouge along the screen protector from this seemingly innocuous little device. On second inspection the USB connector has some pretty tasty edges and I'm not sure whether any ape-named glass would have protected against it so it was lucky I had the cheap shitty plastic over it even if it does lessen the silky strokability of this Jobsian marvel ;-)

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FAIL

Apple are just...

so fucking ANAL. Cutting off their nose to spite their face (again). Next thing they'll be removing all the skins and stuff that 'protect' the rest of the case. Twats

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nice...

Ian Dury reference....like it.

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Silver badge

A title

Actually, I'm not sure I disagree with this. I bought a cover which came with a screen skin several months ago. The skin was ok but the corner would never stick down properly. Nonetheless I left it as is because for the most part it was ok. Last week I decided to get a new skin. Unfortunately, I could only get a Belkin pack with "3 skins, a screen wpe and a bubble scraper". OK, so I bought this kit for $20au only to discover that the skin was so thin that no amount of scraping with the crappy plastic thing could remove even half the bubbles under this peice of shit skin. I ended up just pelling it off and going "naked". Time will tell how the screen stands up of course but those stupid belkin skins were too awful for words. I wouldn't sell them in my store either.

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AF
Unhappy

Apple are SO not confident the screens are up to it without protection.

Given that the warranty explicitly excludes scratch damage, Apple obviously DON'T think their screens are scratch-resistant. If they are that confident, they should be happy to replace scratched screens FOC. When they do that, I'll be happy to go without. Until then, I'd rather have a protector. My current one already has a couple of scratches on it, and I keep the phone in a belt case so it's not like I abuse it - I have no idea where the scratches came from. But it's only a protector so I don't mind...

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FAIL

So your saying...

That the screen protector got scratches in it?

Since it's not made out of the same material that the screen is made from I'm not surprised.

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AF
WTF?

Yeeeesss....

Yes, I'm saying that the screen protector has got scratches on it. One of them is a fairly nasty-looking one, and I would not like to bet on the actual screen being able to resist it without a single mark.

I'm saying that I'd rather a £5 protector got scratched than the less-easy-to-replace actual screen.

I'm saying that when I sell my phone, I want to simply peel off the protector and sell it as "screen in perfect condition, covered since new, not a single scratch or mark anywhere" instead of "the screen has the usual wear and tear you'd expect for an iPhone that's never had a screen protector on it - but it's in really good condition".

What I am also saying is that I look after my phone - yet, despite my best efforts to look after it, somehow it's received a mean-looking scratch to the screen. If someone who takes good care of their phone (kept in a soft-lined belt case, screen facing away from the catch, phone never slung across a table, only docked in a proper dock etc etc) can still manage to end up getting a scratch, then damn right I'm going to put a protector on it.

What I am trying to say over all that is that, despite Apple claiming their product doesn't need protecting, they obviously think it DOES - or they wouldn't exclude scratches from the warranty. Until such time as they do cover scratches to the screen, anyone with an ounce of sense will put a protector on it (and put said protector on PROPERLY). If their screen is supposedly scratchproof, then it should be covered under the warranty.

So yes, obviously the wussy screen protector is going to show more damage than the actual screen, but that's the whole point - the protector gets damaged so the screen doesn't have to. And until Apple say "Scratched screen? No problem!" then the protector stays on. And if Apple don't want to sell me a protector, not a problem - Amazon will.

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Contrary

The screen is so hard that any scratch is obviously abuse.

I have not only never used a screen protector, I've never used a case. My iPhone lives happily either in my business shirt pocket (with a pen and bluetooth headset), or in my pocket with keys. I've dropped it a hundred times.

My wife has my original 2G now, pushing 3 years old. It has 2 small scratches you can see, and 1 tiny one that only under certain lighting you might see if you know where to look. One came from being dropped face down onto a tine in my dishwasher from about 3 feet. The other i STEPPED ON IT face down on CONCRETE, in the rain when running, after it fell out of my pocket. If it takes THAT kind of abuse to get a single scratch on the glass, that's enough to not need the protector, which comes with multiple negatives.

My 3GS, which I've had since a few weeks after launch, is pristine. Yes, there's a few dings around the rim, and some micro-scratches in the plastic casing, but the screen is perfect, and it lives with my keys all day. no case, no protector, no problem.

...and you can buy screen protectors ANYWHERE. Apple is not banning them, they're just not carrying them online. Why?

- too costly to stock for tiny profits

- no perceivable impact to customers

- ridiculous pricing for a thin plastic film (should be $5 for a 10 pack, like it was a few years ago, not $7 for a single protector)

- negatively impacts usability

- numerous returns.

Apple DISCUSSED THIS with the vendors in advance. This was not an order, this was the result of planned action.

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Stop

etc etc yawn

To all those people who say their screen has a scratch after they dropped their phone and it landed on whatever ... do you realize, if you had a good screen protector on like an InvisibleShield.......

YOUR SCREEN MIGHT STILL BE PERFECT.

So that's why many people get screen protectors - in case they drop it on concrete and step on it, or drop it onto an unprotected dishwasher tine. i.e. in case ACCIDENTS happen. Now all you naked phone users have scratches on your screen from your unplanned accidents. Those who applied proper screen protectors are likely to have scratchless screens even after those accidents.

www.theinvisibleshield.com

Lifetime warranty.

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Boffin

Why cover for something that can't happen

Nah they don't cover scratches because they don't happen so why cover them!

I use a screen protector on my HTC Magic and have since day one, and have on any touch screen device as it keeps the food off!

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Apple still selling screen protectors

I know the story said "all screen-adhering films" in one sentence, but it's far too easy to infer (as posters have done) that Apple has banned all screen protectors from this reporting - particularly as the coverage also included lines like "...pulled listings for screen protectors, on the grounds that the availability of scratch-resistant plastic covers undermines confidence in reliability of the unprotected hardware."

BTW you still appear to be able to buy film-based as well as static-based protectors in the UK.

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WTF?

They do have other uses...

I spent some time with my 3GS being in a leather wallet and found without the screen protector it was far more prone to fingerprints and cheek grease (despite their fancy anti marking stuff...)

I now have a griffin case and screen protector and it resists mucky marks far better and has protected the screen from a couple of brushings with something sharp in my pocket - and I am careful what goes with it!

Not to mention apart from a little bubble where it won't stick down in the corner you cannot tell it's protected nor is there any reduction in sensitivity!

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The iPhone screens are pretty tough

I've had a 3G since near launch and so far there's not a single mark on the screen. It smudges like buggery but even from the occasional drop it's completely unscathed. I think the screens are pretty tough overall, although if you do keep your phone in the same pocket as your keys/flick knife/bag of nails you've only got yourself to blame if you damage it.

My boss actually sent his iPhone careening along the motorway when it fell out the window as he rolled his car. The plastic on the back was a bit scraped but other than that it survived completely unharmed, including the screen!

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yer

Just goes to show you shouldn't use your iPhone while driving

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Joke

Ha

" manufacturers will find other channels harder to get into"

Wownever realised Amazon and e-bay were so regulated....

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Paris Hilton

Big Bad .....

"I am iPhone of Borg, you will be assimilated"

Paris? Well that article is about going without protection!

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Thumb Up

Well...

why don't they just make the screen out of solid diamond? Apple customers will love it, they seem to like expensive gadgets.

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Boffin

Corundum

I thought the main reason for the amazingly high price (of at least the 1st gen devices) was because they used artificial synthetic corundum (Same material as ruby, sapphire, and emerald - Rockwell 9 hardness) for the screens. It was also supposed to be this reason why they went with capacitive instead of resistive - no need for any resistive coating and corundum was a natural capacitive material.

There was a great deal of dicussion (even here) about the use of synthetic sapphire for iPhone screens: http://iphoneblogger.blogspot.com/2007/03/iphone-to-use-synthetic-sapphire.html

But it seems since then it has been determined that "just glass" was used: http://gizmodo.com/360030/the-iphone-under-a-microscope

Then again, there may be still something else in there - Optical glass is either very pure silicon crystalline (pretty brittle, for a "liquid", and a VERY good electric insulator), or is doped with other material to provide the specific characteristics (refractive index, capacitive qualities(!), etc) required... http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/06/18/apple_toughens_iphone_screen/

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FAIL

jump!

Steve Jobs (or Apple?) say jump..and we all have to say 'how high? Sir?'

no thanks. Apple can just f**k right off. i am the consumer in this market and if i want a protection film for my exposed and , yes vulnerable, screen, then i'll buy one from someone who makes such a thing. just as i bought a rubberised skin for it. next step , an HTC Android me thinks :-|

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Anonymous Coward

re: Jump

Well, as Apple hasn't actually stopped selling screen protectors for the iPhone in its stores, I don't know what you're talking about.

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Jobs Horns

At least...

Apple stopped short of claiming that attaching anything to an iPhone is in breach of their EULA!!!

Wankers.

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Anonymous Coward

Out of touch.

Not read the latest EULA yet then?

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Anonymous Coward

well...

I have a first gen IPod tough, which goes in my pocket with keys and coins fairly often.. The chrome back is a bit marked, but the glass is fine- other than greasy fingermarks! When I do upgrade to a newer model to get more space, that oleophobic coating will be nice to have..

(Am not hugely greasy, it's just Piono Black syndrome.. honest!)

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oleophobic screens

Glass may be tough, but is the oleophobic coating as tough?

Apple themselves say that rubbing the screen with something abrasive (pants pockets are abrasive - look at the corners of plastic gadgets you put into your pocket) will "diminish" the coating.

Screen protectors let you resell the phone later on with a "pristine screen".

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-10280454-233.html

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C**t wits!

Good Grief!

I've been asked to look into replacing our Blackberries with Iphones because naturally all the big wigs see shiney, want shiney.

Our standard pratcice will be to get cases, usually ones with built in screen protectors for obvious reasons as screens get scratched to heck in heavy business use and travel.

I don't care how good they want marketing to make the screens look, I care about making sure we don't spend a fortune replacing scratched screens that don't work and can't be read.

Put screen damage under warantee, and we may forgo screen protectors.

Make them out of Diamond or at least a good Saphire screen and again I'll be more than happy to go without as I've banged my Brietling off all sorts including doors and table corners and it's not so much as smudged!

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Good grief!

I haven't worn a wrist watch since 1999. Is that an accessory you need with a Blackberry, along with the case and screen protector? How manly and technical you must look!

I use my unprotected iPhone very heavily, and yes, there are a couple of little scratches on the glass if I look carefully via reflected light. But what's wrong with that? It doesn't affect "business use". Professional tools do end up battered, but they still have to work. Have you ever seen a pro photographer use their camera in a protective case?

And Apple hasn't banned these or said they'll make you sterile, they've just stopped reselling them. You can still buy them elsewhere. As a company they don't defend their use. So not reselling them in the company shop is simply acting with integrity. Nothing more.

(Of course it's easier to "act with integrity" when your stinking rich!)

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Not an issue

I have 2 iPhones, both without protectors and without cases of any kind. they have battle scars to prove it, but no scratches on the screen of my 3Gs. My older 2G (used by the wife) has 2 small scratches, one from being dropped on a wahsing machine tine, one from being stepped on while running on concrete, screen down. Niether case would have been averted by a screen protector.

I also have a nice watch (not safire, just good crystal). Been wearing it since about 1994. Had the band replaced 3 times due to scratches in the metal. i wear it doing everything, including working around the house and yard, and the crystal is constantly smashed into this and that. No scratches on it either.

Good glass is real damned hard. My watch costs more than my iPhone, and I've never considered a protector for it. The iPhone 3GS glass has a hardness rating in excess of the watch...

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Anonymous Coward

Your Breitling...

...has a sapphire crystal that on its own is probably as expensive as a phone.

BlackBerries also come with those camp little leather pouches (although BB try to man it up by describing it as a "holster") so screen protection is somewhat moot.

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Badgers

Where will I buy my protectors from now?

Ebay of course, where I've bought all my others from. You can get 3 for a couple of quid from Hong Kong OR you can get 1 for a tenner in an Apple store. Shopping is so complicated.

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half the reason

Apple is dropping them... They're abusively priced, easily available in other places that don't charge shipping, expensive to stock, and have razor thin margins for Apple.

Honestly, a LOT of the content of the apple store has been dwindling. They're carrying less and less 3rd party products other than mainstream cases and cables. The bulk of device accessories are sold through Amazon, eBay, and via local retailers that don't charge shipping. I'm surprised someone noticed this product among the MANY dropped over the last year. Carying this kind of inventory costs Apple money, and it;s the kind of thing people want to buy on-the-spot, not wait 5 days for it to ship, so though it's the "most popular case accessory" that says nothing compared to how many might even be sold (since every case on Apple.com cost more than it does elsewhere, and I bet the sales numbers show it).

Screen protectors are a disposable commodity, regularly replaced. Apple only gets first sale, not replacements. Its a bad product to carry.

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Silver badge

Real phones

don't need after market skins, bag, films, protectors...

you just replace the clip-on replaceable shell if it gets too tatty.

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Paris Hilton

testes

Less than 40p's worth of coins in my trouser pocket did a fantastic job of putting two 2" scratches down the middle of the screen on my 1 week old 3GS.

Either stop talking bollocks, put your money where your mouth is and allow warranty jobs on scratched screens. Or just plain stop talking bollocks.

Paris, cos she's probably as familiar with bollocks as Saint Jobs is.....

PS. In context this is obviously no big deal as people more intelligent than I can still buy screen protectors elsewhere. Just apple's holier-than-thou attitude winds me right up!!

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Troll

ZOMGWTF! Steve Jobs eats FUCKING BABIES!

"Cupertino pulled listings for screen protectors, on the grounds that the availability of scratch-resistant plastic covers undermines confidence in reliability of the unprotected hardware."

No! Bad Bill Ray, Bad!

Where does it say that Bill ? Where ? Did you mean this bit ?

"One vendor speculated that the ban is an Apple marketing attempt to suggest screen durability, despite scratches that have damaged both plastic and glass displays of its products for years."

Which is quite,quite different. What the hell is it about Apple that seems to stir such hysteria in the internets.

I know, I know, "shop to stop stocking some things" isn't much of a punchy story. But really.

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More behind this

1) At a few bucks, apple's itty bitty margin on selling these thing in their own store is lost on handling and storage.

2) no one has been able to show that a screen with a protector is more/less likely to be scratched than one without, given how much effort it really takes to scratch the glass at all (it;s fracking hard, I;ve never had a protector on either iPhone, i abuse the shit out of it, and the only scratch to old one got was being dropped on concrete and stepped on while I has running, which would have gone through that anyway).

3) protectors weaken the capacitive response and accuracy

4) due to the lack in accuracy, some people press harder, which can cause other damage over time.

5) they make phones look ugly, and in some cases cause issues with the ambient light sensor (detecting less light than it shoud, thus dimming the screen more, which is hard enough to read through anti-glare filters).

6) Seriously, $5-10 for a thin piece of plastic with some glue???? Rip-off artists.

Since apple has actually been in discussion with these folks, i think it's no big surprise to them, just the consumer, and they'll still be available in stores. besides, why go online to buy a replacement filter when they're readily available down the street sans shipping charges.

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Pointless and nasty anyway

OK it's obvious that a fair few of you think these things are the mutt's nuts, but after trying on on my old SE p910, only to have it make the screen almost unreadable, plus giving me the hebegebes (sp?) trying to get the flipping thing off again (nearly ripped off the soft plastic screen), I decided they were more trouble than they're worth. Especially on the iPhone with its tough glass screen. As for in-pocket protection all round, I found a really nice Sena leather pouch, which does the job admirably without adding any great thickness.

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Thin margins? Not likely ! But who cares. Move Along . Nothing to see here

Jobs possibly (but probably not ) saw a bubble on someones iphone and decided it was ugly and he wasnt going to help that happen. So lets all buy android phones, that'll teach him !

get a life people , if you want a screen protector there are a myriad of cheaper places to buy one

if you want an iPhone or a Google phone go for it . get on on their merits and their usefulness to you

Now, why isnt there a little graphic of someone yawning I can add to this post ?

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FAIL

They are needed

I got a scratch on my 3GS, luckily my screen protector hides it well. I don't think I would ever use a touchscreen device withough a protector.

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Anonymous Coward

re: reasonable?

"Apple are saying its not needed, when really it could be.. then you will break the screen and they shall charge you to fix it"

Erm and when did they say that? To date the company has said nowt on why it's not stocking some products that are easily available.

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Jobs Horns

New theory

Maybe Apple needed the shelf space for something else ? And it's accessories ? Can't think what that might be mind you.

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The real purpose for screen protectors

I personally don't mind about a minorly scratched up screen, but if you've got one made of glass, you pretty much need a screen protector. Once you drop it in such a way that the glass detonates, if you have a screen protector, you can probably keep using the phone just fine, even if it is a little hard to read. Without a screen protector, the touch sensor is likely to flake out, and you might end up with sharp edges where you're supposed to swipe your finger around.

Anyone with a glass-screened device and no screen protector is either really confident about their abilities to not drop their phone, or just uninformed.

Screen protectors do kind of nullify all the special coating Apple puts on the screen, however.

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