iPhone 3GS oleophobic coating wearing off prematurely? | iLounge News


iPhone 3GS oleophobic coating wearing off prematurely?


Raising questions regarding the durability of the oleophobic coating on the glass screen of the iPhone 3GS, a user from Germany has posted pictures of the coating coming off less than three weeks after the product’s release. In separate postings to the apfeltalk.de forums, 3GS user “Samsas Traum” has shared pictures of his problematic screen, which appears to have ghost-like circles around the area where the coating has come off. Traum claims that the localized nature of the damage is likely due to repeat playings of Flick Fishing. While we have yet to see a second report of such extreme wear in such a short time, iLounge editors have found previous products with oleophobic coating—such as sunglasses—to be problematic, with the coating coming off with as little as contact with certain types of water. [via iFun.de]

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“Certain types of water?”

Posted by Hot Karl on July 6, 2009 at 11:07 AM (CDT)


Already having a scratch on my 3GS screen (which I assume is in the coating and not the glass itself?), I’d be relieved if the coating *is* easily removed.  I want to be able to (eventually) get this stuff off the glass if it’s going to scratch excessively.

Posted by Chris on July 6, 2009 at 11:18 AM (CDT)


Yeah, I can’t help but worry about the durability of the oleophobic coating, since my iPod Touch screen was virtually unmarred after a year of pocket dwelling.  A couple of super minor nicks, that’s all.

I don’t see any broken models on ebay yet for guinea pig testing, but a semi-common tactic for handling flaking anti-reflective coating on watch glass is to use brasso to remove the coating.  Might be worth a shot down the road.

Posted by Patrick on July 6, 2009 at 12:00 PM (CDT)


My iPhone 3GS screen already has some scratches on it, and I’m pretty gentle with it.  I had it in my purse without a screen protector for about a week, though, and I guess it must have gotten scratched up in there.  My 2G was handled much rougher than my 3GS and didn’t have a single scratch on the screen so I can only assume that it’s the coating that is scratched. The coating is great, but what’s the use in it if you have to slap a screen protector over it to protect it?

Posted by Bethany on July 6, 2009 at 12:53 PM (CDT)


Buy a screenprotector you can get a good one that’s not noticable and won’t have an issue with scratches or the coating coming off

Posted by Jen on July 6, 2009 at 1:38 PM (CDT)


I’d say this is going to turn out to be just another rumor—like the one about the white iPhone turning pinkish from ‘excessive heat’—turned out to be color transfer from a 3rd-party case, cleaned away with rubbing alcohol.

This one will turn out to be something different than the rumors circulating because of it.

Personally, part of my enjoyment of the 3GS >is< the easy-to-wipe-clean screen.  That might mean a year-ish down the road I need to have the glass replaced—probably around the time I’ll need to ship it in for battery replacement…

Posted by benjitek on July 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM (CDT)


Well, at least in my case it’s because I have years of experience with various lens coatings on my glasses that didn’t adhere half as well as the manufacturer would have hoped.  It’s only in the past few years that I can get an anti-reflective coating that doesn’t flake off in relatively short order.  So there’s at least a bit of history to glass coatings being more fragile than the underlying glass.  But yeah, I love the ease of cleaning the oleophobic screen, I just hope it doesn’t have too high a cost in terms of long term reliability.

Posted by Patrick on July 6, 2009 at 5:54 PM (CDT)


I just left the protective cover on my i-touch, but i don’t play games on it either ...

Posted by Sandra on July 7, 2009 at 8:03 PM (CDT)


I have 2 scratches too already on my iphone 3GS. (Never had any issue with my previous 2G and 3G!!).
I am really annoyed about it and Apple does not want to exchange it. They have not admitted a default in their new screens yet!

Posted by Simon on July 8, 2009 at 11:08 AM (CDT)


Oh gawd.
The 3GS is actually my first iPhone, but i have a iPOd Touch(1st gen) and the screen is still new, NO SCRATCHES, AT ALL! and its been over a year, i hope this iPhone’s screen can last this long so ‘ll sell it when a new one comes out next year!

Posted by JAckie on July 10, 2009 at 1:30 PM (CDT)


My iphone 3gs is less than 2 weeks old, I’ve treated it like a baby but there is a hair-line crack on the screen. I think it must the coating rather than the glass so now I’m resorting to a screen protector which sort of defeats the object of the coating.

Posted by chris reece on July 15, 2009 at 1:58 PM (CDT)


The fact that Apple remains silent on the issue is a telling one.

I would put a protector on the phone cause he o-coating will scratch and wear off.

Posted by ZipZap on August 5, 2009 at 6:36 PM (CDT)


Yep, I am having the same issue.  The coating is coming off the screen.
It is appearing where I usually put my thumb on the phone.
Please tell me how to fix this!

Posted by Jim on October 27, 2009 at 8:03 AM (CDT)


I am obsessive with my iPhone have been since the 2g then got more protective with my 3g and now my 3gs has never felt the touch of a human hand, it went straight into a an otterbox case before it even left the store. But the only time I have ever seen a scratch in any of my iPhones is when I kicked my 2g 30 ft. across the sidewalk by accident.  All it showed was a very minor scratch on the glass.

Posted by David on October 28, 2009 at 7:16 AM (CDT)

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