• The Great Screen-Protector Ban of 2010

    Apple has made the unprecedented (and, frankly, odd) decision to ban all screen-protecting film products from all retail stores and the Apple Online Store. Manufacturers have come forth today to (anonymously) tell a number of online sources, such as iLounge and Macworld, that the ban will start in May. No reason was given for the move, which will affect not only standalone film products, but any case that includes a film screen protector.

    The ban is comprehensive: every kind of screen film, including clear film, glare-reducing film, or colored film will no longer be permitted at any Apple store, whether it is meant to protect an iPhone, an iPod, an iPad, or a Mac. No films. None.

    Vendors and manufacturers who have spoken up have all done so anonymously, indicating that Apple has lowered one of its mafia-style secrecy edicts over this move. Some of these anonymous informants have put forth guesses as to why films are being forbidden, while taking pains to be clear that these are only guesses. A popular theory is that, because it's hard to apply these films straight, without air bubbles or junk getting caught between the film and the screen, films are being returned more often than most accessories. But others are speculating that Apple just decided that selling protective film will leave consumers with the impression that Apple screens are easily scratched. As buyers begin streaming in to Apple Stores to buy (fairly) expensive touchscreen iPads, the reasoning goes, they'll take one look around them at all the screen protectors and begin to worry.

    Apple may be dealing with bad memories of the 1st generation iPod nano, which was so sensitive to being scratched that consumers filed a class action lawsuit, complaining that the displays were so poorly made that just putting them in the pocket of your jeans made the screen unreadable. Apple ended up paying users $25 US each to settle the lawsuit.
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