I just read a pretty interesting rumor at TUAW claiming that the people at iLounge are reporting that multiple vendors told them that Apple is banning all protective screen films for iPhones, iPod Touches, and other Mac products starting this May. Okay that sounded a bit like your teenage daughter telling you the latest gossip from glee club. “Susie said Tiffany saw Tina saying Stephanie is a fat cow!”
But according to TUAW and iLounge it’s true. Apple will stop carrying any screen protectors for their products, both in-store and online. Now I know the consumer base out there will freak out and have all sorts of reasons for being mad at Apple for this. “Apple is just trying to make it so we have to buy new iPhones!” Blah blah blah.
But as a former Apple Specialist who recently quit working in an Apple Store (by recent I mean yesterday), my response to this is THANK GOD!
Let me sum up iPhone protective screen covers for you in one word. UNNECESSARY. Ever since they shipped the first set of iPhone screen covers to Apple stores a day has not gone by that I didn’t have to give my screen cover spiel to at least one customer, only to be ignored and have to sell them one anyway. Here it is:
Screen covers? They come in two main varieties. Glossy or Anti-Glare. The anti-glare is kind of nice because it makes it easier to see the iPhone in the sun. Do you need one? I don’t think so. You could take a key to the iPhone screen and try your best to scratch it and it won’t work. The iPhone’s screen is virtually scratch proof, and it’s not like it’s going to keep the screen from shattering if you drop it really hard.
To that they’d usually say, “Okay, I’ll take the anti-glare.” Were you even listening? What I would have liked to say when they ask me what the screen covers are good for is, “They’re good for putting little bubbles on your screen.” But you know, Apple has this policy of always speaking kindly of its third party vendors.
And of course as soon as I ring it up the next question is, “Can you put it on for me?”
This could become a huge point of contention with a lot of customers. “It’s your product. I need an expert to put it on so it looks good.”
It’s not Apple’s product and if I put it on for you it will look like crap. TUAW speculated that Apple’s reason for removing screen protectors from the stores was because their presence in the store would imply that the screens scratch easily. I’m almost wondering if Apple’s real reason is simply so they no longer have to deal with customer service issues related to people complaining that the Apple employees won’t put the films on for them.
Either way, I’m sure we’ll hear all sorts of fury from iPhone buyers as well as from the vendors who make these products. But in my almost three years of dealing with iPhones I have a lot of experience with customers bringing their iPhones into the store to have them fixed. You know how many scratched screens I’ve seen? One. Sure, I’ve seen tons of smashed to smithereens screens. But I’ve only ever seen one screen with a legitimate scratch.
Of course if you really want a screen protector for your iPhone, you can still get them online or at any other store that sells iPhone accessories. Just don’t take it to an Apple Store and ask them to put it on for you.