Apple removing screen film from stores

, Notebooks & Tablets, Jason D. O'GradyApple has stopped selling screen film -- that clear adhesive vinyl that prevents glare and scratches -- and any products that ship with a film, in its online and retail stores.

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Apple has stopped selling screen film -- that clear adhesive vinyl that prevents glare and scratches -- and any products that ship with a film, in its online and retail stores. The removal came as a surprise to vendors who weren't notified in advance of Apple's plans.

Vendors tell Macworld that "Apple will no longer sell such products, or any other products that adhere to Apple devices." The operative word here is adhere.

One theory that's being floated is that because the films are difficult to install, they are prone to bubbles and other imperfections, contributing to a higher than normal rate of returns. Another theory is that Apple doesn't want to give the impression that a screen film is necessary.

The impending release of the iPad on April 3 could also be a contributing factor. Apple doesn't want customers to feel that a screen film is a requirement or that they didn't design the iPad with glare and scratch-resistance in mind. I'll reserve judgment on the iPad screen until I see it in person.

Personally, I think that films are essential. I use a RadTech ClearCal antiglare screen film on my MBP15 because my model only came in glossy. My iPhone film of choice is iWrap, but only on the front. I use a protective case around the rest of my iPhone 24/7.

It's worth noting that almost every iPod and iPhone case sold these days includes some sort of a screen film as part of the package, and Apple's new ban includes them too. Macworld reports that some vendors are scrambling to repackage their cases so as not to lose precious shelf space in Apple's high-traffic stores.

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