iphone screen protectorWe’ve learned from iLounge that Apple is pulling the plug and banning the sale of film based screen protectors and removing them from their retail and online store fronts. This includes all stand-alone screen protectors as well as film-based screen protectors that come as part of a package.  The ban will affect all iDevices ranging from the iPod Touch to the new iPad due out early April 2010.

iPhone screens are made of durable glass that nearly impossible to scratch. This move comes as no surprise but it should make one wonder why Apple decided to sell these screen protectors in the first place.

Most screen protectors are nearly impossible to install and, with time, collects dirt around the edges. Not to mention the cost. Most of these screen protectors are $20 or more, depending on where you go; online markets are usually cheaper.

Just because Apple has banned film based screen protectors from the retail outlets, we are not completely without screen protectors. Film based screen protectors will still be available at 3rd party stores such as Best Buy, Fry’s or other electronic superstores. Odds are you’ll find them cheaper at an electronic superstore too.

Since the purchase of my iPhone [3GS] last July, I have invested roughly $100 on different screen protectors in hopes of finding the perfect one. Today, I swear by not using screen protectors since the iPhone screen has proven itself to be very durable and nearly scratch resistant. I do have a small scratch towards the bottom right corner but it’s nearly unnoticable except when screen is black. I can even recount how it happened and, to this day, I am still amazed the scratch is as small as it is.

Do you use a screen protector? If so, will this move affect the future of your iDevices? Please share you opinion.

  • Francesco Suarez

    i have one on my ipod touch 3rd gen, but idk care still the same without it

  • Arun

    I use a Matt finish screen protector by a brand called capdase! Really excellent in quality, and I took almost 30 min to install it perfectly! Used cellotapes to clean the dirt.. Courtesy YouTube videos on how to clean screen protectors! I also have the soft jacket xpose2 cover which retains the looks of the phone so well! Neatly done!

  • Chris

    I don’t have a screen protector but wish I did. I have a crack from upper right corner curves down to lower right corner

  • Stuart

    I use the InvisiShield on my 3GS but only the front part not the ‘whole body’ thing – and with 3 children in the house constantly playing with it I’m glad I did.

    I’d rather not chance an expensive item to getting a scratch when my InvisiShield has a lifetime warranty on it and adds a benefit – that of being able to lie my iphone screen down and it not slide all over the place. that and when I shove my keys in my pocket I don’t have to worry about incidental scratches.

  • Jeffery

    The screen protectors saved my phone from a many of tiny scratches. When I took em off my old 3g it was slaughtered with tiny scratches. Today I use otter box with it’s built in protector and my 3gs is completely scratch free even with the tons of times I’ve dropped it. Amazing case :-p

  • Bobby mo

    I went through many cases and screen protectors until I discovered a brand called DLO
    I purchased a case and screen protector combo about 8 months ago and it has been flawless since. You don’t even notice the screen protector and the case is sleek but supportive. I’ll never buy another brand!
    DLO is the way to go!

  • Back home I don’t use a screen protector because I usually take good care of my stuff and I don’t deem it necessary to add another protection layer to the screen, which as you said does a great job at being scratch resistant. However since I started traveling I added a screen protector and I’m glad I did. With all this time spent on sandy beaches, the screen protector is all scratched up. I’m glad I did install the screen. As soon as I’m back home, I will get rid of it though. Apple’s move to remove screen protector from their stores is not going to change anything at all or me.

  • Pete

    Yep I sure have screen protector & now on my 3rd iPhone due to so many scratchers on screens on my 1st 2 phones. In OZ the best protectors are by Belkin & only $6.30 each & gather no dirt & last around 6 months & sooo easy to apply to screen. Whoever is paying $20 each is totally being ripped off!

  • I’m with Sebastien. I’ll be getting a screen protector when I go to Hawaii in a month and kick it on sandy beaches drinking coconut rum.. but here at home, nope, don’t need one. I’m a clutz too. I always drop my phone (good thing for the plastic case). I guess I’m lucky it’s never landed face down on a pebble or rock.

    Also, it’s not hideously expensive to get a new screen. I think upwards of $60 for the screen then plus labor.

  • Mike

    I am using a screen protector (just incase of it catching on zips) but found annoyingly hard to put on, Im used 2 as soon as I bought them, I will be looking for an easier one to apply , I also use a thin plastic back case which cost me £6,but iv found it starting to leave marks pm the chrome strip around the 3gs

  • Ernesto

    I buy mine on eBay for about $2… For a pack of six… I love eBay. It’s the best.

  • Nasser H Almoumen

    Yea I got on my 3gs a elago smudge free.its the best I think for a expensive item u have to take a good care of it especially this piece of amazing technology

  • Maybe apple wants us to scratch our iphones and ipads so we can buy another one.

  • Bellamy Budiman

    Since using the 2G (and now 3GS) my choice always goes to the PowerSupport Anti Glare. The screen itself may not need additional protection, but the glare is still there, and oleophobic or not, fingerprints still smudge. Well at least on my phone 🙂

  • Irha

    I still have my 2G with its screen protector and it did a good job (no dust collected), even though I didn’t do a good job of applying it (one of the corners is slightly off the screen). I didn’t apply a screen protector when I got a 3G, but the screen is fine so far. I am just extra careful not to put anything else in that pocket (like keys).

  • Angicat

    I’ve never used one and have never seen the need. Granted my phone doesn’t get “abused, it’s normally sitting beside me or on the dashboard of my car. I do have a thick rubber case though, so even if I sit it screen side down (as I sometimes do when I’m out so the text window doesn’t show…) the screen doesn’t really touch anything. I’ve found the screen to be super durable. Not even a scratch. Granted…it hasn’t been on a sandy beach. For that I would get the thin film cover…

  • Paul

    I had one once… but it had bubbles between the screen and the protector itself…

    Ok, maybe not the best SP sold, but… after that experience I decided that beautiful things should not have anything on it 🙂

    I’m right Mr. Jobs? 😀

  • iPhoNerd

    hahaha impressive!!! I just bought another pair from “apple” store today for $15 (technically $14.95)!!! lmao

    I had two iphones before my 3GS and both phones were scratched body n glass. so when I bought my 3GS in last june, I decided to put a case and screen protector on it. I went with Invisible sheild and after 2 months it started pealing off from the body, then I bought an “encase” which is really good. at that time i left the invisible shield on the screen but for the last few weeks it started peeling off and dust started getting in.

    Then today I had to go to apple store for an obvious reason with my jailbroken phone :O, long story short, they said since I JB my phone I stand void of my warranty, however, one of the guy was nice and he fixed my phone and got 3.1.3 on it now :(( I am in JAIL again…. but I bought a pair of screen protector from them, bcz I use my phone very rough as my work is that kind. I cannot keep them in a safe place and work at the same time, so even though apple stop selling screen protector, i would still buy them from 3rd party if necessary!

  • kaft

    I do use screen overprotection, but for no reason other than privacy, which give blind screen from peeping when standing in crowded places, and this enough reason to keep selling them .

  • greytone

    I tried a film screen cover and didn’t really care for it. I don’t really need it as I’m the only one who uses it and I’m pretty careful with it.

    On occasions where it might be at risk, like the beach or camping or a metal concert, I use an everyday zip-lock sandwich baggie. It keeps it dry and debris safe, and may help a little against scratches (though as noted above the phone itself is pretty good about that all on its own) and you can operate it right through the plastic. I’m not sure about how well phone calls work from the baggie because I haven’t had to try yet. Costs a few cents per “case”. And if you blow some air in there while on a sailing trip it will float when you capsize! 🙂

  • Goondoo

    I got some matt finished screen protector from http://www.dealextreme.com. I realized the main reason for the protector to start peeling off is due to the silicon phone casing. I have never had problem with the protector for a few months now after changing to a hard casing that do not overlap the screen protector.
    I chose matt protector as it reduce finger prints and personally, I find applying the screen protector reasonably easy.
    1) clean it well (using lint free cloth),
    2) use a blower to remove fine dust,
    3) gently bend the screen protector (bend the short side) and apply “center touch the screen first” concept, aligning slowing the button and speaker.
    4) once aligned, slowly release both side.
    5) you might see micro bubbles, but they will disappear in the next few days. If it didn’t, it’s dust and you didn’t blow the glass well enough.

  • RicanBoi87

    I’ve been using the case-mate screen protector on my 16gb 3G for a year now and no problems what so ever. I bought the three pack from the AT&T store for only 10 bucks. When I first installed the first one there were bubbles showing but after like 10 minutes of using a credit card I pushed all the bubbles out with no problem. I dropped my phone on the face and the screen protector prevented a nice nick. The screen protector got a nice noticeable nick on it but the screen is still fine. Hopefully AT&T stays selling the case-mate 3 pack screen protectors!

  • NonoKurd

    I’ve been using the same screen protector on my iPhone 3G for two years now. Only now it started to peel off on the top edge. For a guy that carries his phone in the pocket, screen protector is very important.

  • I think i got the perfect one: INCIPIO. In every INCIPIO Feather Case are two screen protectors inclusive + a polishing doth. All in all it costs about 9€ (12$?!)

  • @RicanBoi87 I’m pretty sure all other retailers will continue to stock whatever screen protectors they have been (but I could be wrong). This is only Apple removing their film based screen protector stock from their store fronts.

  • brent

    I’m slightly surprised so many are using screen protectors. I personally have had my 3g for over a year and half and have never had a protector on it. I’ve got one miniscule scratch on the left edge and that’s it. All of you who say your protector did its job because it’s all scratched up are forgetting the fact that the glass underneath is WAY more durable than your protector. The glass would have survived most or likely all of the scratching that ended up on the protector. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use one, but in doing so maybe you’re not giving Apple enough credit for an awesomely scratch resistant screen. That’s especially nice considering so many products these days are purposefully made cheaper so we have to buy replacements more often.

  • Karl

    I don’t use it for the possibility of scratches I use it for the smudges. That’s why I have the anti-glare. I’ve never had an install problem, looks great and one has lasted me a year, just replaced it.

  • Leticia

    Well that’s too bad because I have a 3GS & it’s got scratches everywhere & wish I would have invested in a film protector. The iPhone by no means is scratch resistant I have the scars to prove it.

  • Gooberhamm

    I used a screen protector on my iPod Touch and now on my iPhone 3GS. I got a 3-pack of Belkin protectors at Target for around $12.

  • Dave

    Apple advices no screen protectors as they degrade the performance of the iphone screen.
    Have you ever tried to dial a phone number and call someone and the screen goes crazy?

    I have tried everything out there. But I had to replace the protectors as they got dirty and scatched which made the screen not respond properly. Very expensive!!!

    Then one day while cleaning I decided to try a film of GLAD WRAP. I cut it size and worked out the air bubbles and it worked so nice. NO PERFORMANCE problems and air/dust tight.

    Now I just clean it and replace the GLAD WRAP every so often.

    Amazingly cheap and it works!

  • Luvapplehateatt

    I’ve always freaked about getting scratches on my iPhone, iPod touches, etc. And so havealways invested in a screen protector. With my latest purchase of my iPhone 4, I walked into the Apple store to buy a protector. The salesperson told me “not necessary” and proceeded to take a pair if keys to the iPhone next to him and scrape over and over again to demonstrate how virtually impossible a scratch would be. Since then I do not use a protector. And besides this Retinal Display screen is absolutely beautiful and so I would not dream of covering it up with high priced glad wrap. Apple knows their products.

  • Fefe

    The screen protector looks really bad on my iphone but iam not sure that it wont scrach if i remove it ..

  • totallytiffany

    I have a great screen protector for my iPhone 4. I had gotten protectors from this company before and for a lot less than from Zagg or ghostarmor. This protector feels comfortable, not bulky, doesn’t change the look of the phone and doesn’t affect the performance of the touchscreen. I had used this companies covers or skins before on a Nokia E72 but this time I got them for my iPhone and my husbands HTC EVO 4G from Sprint, so they have a real big selection of phones and such they cover. The company is at http://www.gadgetshieldz.com and they’re covers each run about 6.99 each so we got them for more than one phone for the same price as if we’d have bought them from the other companies but ghostarmor does give you two in the pkg. so I guess you’d have a spare but for the same phone and it was still less for me to get a couple of different ones. The gadget shieldz are pretty cool and especially for the price to keep these really high-dollar phones from getting scratched up and it covered more area than the other skins. T.

  • ddavid

    To me screen protectors are a pain, most all cause a glare, have some bubbles and lift at the edges. One day I decided to try clear plastic. The kind that products are packaged in (as thin as possible).
    I cut the plastic to size to fit under the silicon cover. It creates no bubbles, no glare, and is free. For those that wish only to have protection when going camping or to the beach, that’s a cheap yet protective way to go. Protectors make such a beautiful phone look cheap, the best protection is really a good case (such as Otter) or a soft leather pouch when not in use.

  • Terry

    I’m really cheesed off, I have had the i-phone 4 from Orange for 3 days, got protective film from the Orange shop (as advised byn them), cleaned and dried the surface, put the film on, and there’s a ‘long bubble’ all along the right hand screen edge about a 1/16th inch wide. Not between the film and the screen mind you, but between the screen and how it’s glued to whatever underneath. I’m never using anything like that again, my phone looks like it’s old, yet it’s only 3 days out of the box. Sheeesh.

  • Howiebabycoocachoo

    now come on guys! All this stuff on screen protectors… Get a life! Oh,ok then,if you insist… I have iphone4 with a POWER SUPPORT s/protector for HD. Happy now? The bubble I’m stuck with gives my phone character, but world peace is a bigger issue

  • Sarah

    I don’t hav the latest apple products for iPods or iPhone but I’ve had my 1st gen. iPod for 3 years with a gel case and no screen protector.
    I keep it on my purse with keys and other items. There are only tiny little scratches on it and one a bit more noticable with finger prints but that’s about it.

    Soo when I get the iPhone 4 (in about a week) I don’t think I will get a screen protector.

  • i want to get my ipad 2 soon! it is perfect !

  • Gidget

    No I don’t have one on my iPhone 4 or iPad 2 and they both have no scratches at all. Also when I used to use screen protecters (like a year ago) they were only a dollor I would never pay $20 for a piece of plastic!!