Defective Oleophobic Coating? (with photo goodness)

Surely

Guest
Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
8
Los Angeles, CA
It would appear that the oleophobic coating that covers the screen of my 3GS has worn away.

Some backstory:
  • I take exceptional care of my iPhone- it still looks as it did on the day I bought it (except for the screen)
  • I don't allow anything besides cloth (or my finger :D) to touch the screen
  • When it is in my pocket, nothing else is in there with it
  • I only wipe the screen with a microfiber cloth or a soft t-shirt
  • I have a case, but no screen protector

Since I would say that I use my iPhone no differently than anyone else, and that I have not read about any similar complaints by other users, I believe that the only explanation is that my screen is defective. Perhaps the coating didn't set properly (or something like that).

I have an appointment at the Apple Store tomorrow, so hopefully they'll replace my iPhone. It's a shame, because other than that, it works perfectly- no light leaks, the battery is good, everything is flush, etc. However, I have noticed over the past couple of months that the smudge area getting larger, and I figure that I should nip this in the bud before it gets even worse.

Below are two photos. The reason I'm displaying two photos is to show that the smudge area is consistent before and after a clean wipe of the screen. To bring out the entire smudge area, I rub my finger back-and-forth horizontally across the entire screen. Obviously, with normal use, I wouldn't do that, but that area would normally slowly appear as I use the iPhone. I cleaned the screen with a microfiber cloth after photo 1, and then rubbed my finger on the screen again to bring out the smudge area right before I took photo 2. As you can see, the smudge area is the same shape in both photos. I can repeat this over and over with the same results.

It is very distracting, especially when I use my iPhone outside. And living in California, I'm outside quite a bit.

Anyone else notice anything like this with your 3GS?
 

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KSteel

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2009
7
0
It would appear that the oleophobic coating that covers the screen of my 3GS has worn away.

Some backstory:
  • I take exceptional care of my iPhone- it still looks as it did on the day I bought it (except for the screen)
  • I don't allow anything besides cloth (or my finger :D) to touch the screen
  • When it is in my pocket, nothing else is in there with it
  • I only wipe the screen with a microfiber cloth or a soft t-shirt
  • I have a case, but no screen protector

Since I would say that I use my iPhone no differently than anyone else, and that I have not read about any similar complaints by other users, I believe that the only explanation is that my screen is defective. Perhaps the coating didn't set properly (or something like that).

I have an appointment at the Apple Store tomorrow, so hopefully they'll replace my iPhone. It's a shame, because other than that, it works perfectly- no light leaks, the battery is good, everything is flush, etc. However, I have noticed over the past couple of months that the smudge area getting larger, and I figure that I should nip this in the bud before it gets even worse.

Below are two photos. The reason I'm displaying two photos is to show that the smudge area is consistent before and after a clean wipe of the screen. To bring out the entire smudge area, I rub my finger back-and-forth horizontally across the entire screen. Obviously, with normal use, I wouldn't do that, but that area would normally slowly appear as I use the iPhone. I cleaned the screen with a microfiber cloth after photo 1, and then rubbed my finger on the screen again to bring out the smudge area right before I took photo 2. As you can see, the smudge area is the same shape in both photos. I can repeat this over and over with the same results.

It is very distracting, especially when I use my iPhone outside. And living in California, I'm outside quite a bit.

Anyone else notice anything like this with your 3GS?


I don't believe this at all. You have done something you should not have done to the screen.
 

Surely

Guest
Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
8
Los Angeles, CA
^^^ I have not done anything to my screen. I have used the iPhone the way it was intended to be used.

I have been an active member of these forums for 2 years and I have no reason to lie. Don't insult me.



Go to the Apple store, and they will replace it.
Yes, I know that- hopefully they will replace it. I stated I am going tomorrow.

The point of my thread is to report the problem and to find out if other are experiencing it, not for people to tell me to go to the Apple Store.

Thank you.
 

ouimetnick

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2008
2,497
563
Beverly, Massachusetts
^^^ I have not done anything to my screen. I have used the iPhone the way it was intended to be used.

I have been an active member of these forums for 2 years and I have no reason to lie. Don't insult me.




Thank you.
Yes, I know that- hopefully they will replace it. I stated I am going tomorrow.

The point of my thread is to report the problem and to find out if other are experiencing it, not for people to tell me to go to the Apple Store.

It sure helps when I read the entire post. I didn't know you were going to the Apple Store, untile I read the eintire post. Sorry
 

Surely

Guest
Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
8
Los Angeles, CA
It sure helps when I read the entire post. I didn't know you were going to the Apple Store, untile I read the eintire post. Sorry
No worries man.... I really did mean the 'thank you'- it wasn't sarcastic.:)


At least you didn't accuse me of making this up for some sweet, sweet attention on MacRumors like someone else who posted did..... :rolleyes:
 

SpaceKitty

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2008
3,204
1
Fort Collins Colorado
The Apple store also replaced my 3GS because the coating wore off 2 weeks after purchase. Since then, I have always had a screen protector on it.
The Owners manual says the coating is not permanent and will wear off with use.
 

Surely

Guest
Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
8
Los Angeles, CA
Actually this seems to be a common issue, there are a few threads about it. Don't know what's Apple policy on it, though...
Really? I tried a search, but I didn't find any others.....:confused:

Is it really "common" though? I would think that if it were a common issue, complaints would be more visible around here, what with all the iPhone-OCD sufferers. ;)

Why would you wait so long with your screen looking like that?
I've been really, really busy. The phone still functions, so it wasn't an emergency. I have time now, so I'm taking care of it.

The Apple store also replaced my 3GS because the coating wore off 2 weeks after purchase. Since then, I have always had a screen protector on it.
The Owners manual says the coating is not permanent and will wear off with use.
Well, good to know that someone else was able to have this taken care of.

I'll take a look at the Owner's manual. I guess I could understand a coating wearing off after constantly rubbing it with your finger, but you would think that the coating would last longer than, what, 3 months now? And for yours to wear off after 2 weeks- that is just unacceptable. Maybe they shouldn't use a coating that could rub off so easily, especially since the purpose of the touch screen is to touch/rub it.

Thanks for the info, all :)
 

Shoot

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2008
107
0
Could have been something you didn't realise that you did - for example if you work with cleaning products that may stay on your hands even after washing and get transferred onto the screen and corrode it.
 

Blueline29

macrumors 68020
Jun 16, 2009
2,291
514
Saint Augustine, FL
Gah, something else to be paranoid about now! ;)



j/k--Hope they take care of you and it turns out to be a relatively rare defect that you were unlucky enough to get stuck with.
 

Surely

Guest
Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
8
Los Angeles, CA
^^^^ Me too! Why me though? :eek:


Could have been something you didn't realise that you did - for example if you work with cleaning products that may stay on your hands even after washing and get transferred onto the screen and corrode it.
No, sorry.

I don't work with or use any chemicals, and we only use natural cleaners at home.
I know what you are trying to say, but it is not applicable here.

As I said, I take very good care of my iPhone- your theory is just not a possibility in my case.
 

TheSpaz

macrumors 604
Jun 20, 2005
7,032
1
Surely you must be joking!

Anyways… perhaps this is why Apple decided not to put the oleophobic coating on the new iPod touch screen.
 

Surely

Guest
Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
8
Los Angeles, CA
Surely you must be joking!

Anyways… perhaps this is why Apple decided not to put the oleophobic coating on the new iPod touch screen.
Perhaps.

If this is what I should expect with the oleophobic coating, then I'd rather have the old screen. I had my 1st gen iPhone for 16 months with no screen protector and the screen was flawless.
 

Gathomblipoob

macrumors 601
Mar 18, 2009
4,710
3,526
It must be a defect with the OP's iPhone.

I've had my 3GS since launch day. I have mQuickDo installed, which means that I use a lot of screen gestures all the time. So far, my iPhone's oleophobic coating is as good as new.

I clean the screen with my t-shirt.
 

lansorep

macrumors newbie
Sep 23, 2009
1
0
Defective Coating

That's too bad.

I bought an iPhone 3GS 32G on the day it was released and I have been using it constantly since I bought it. I have cleaned it with whatever I have had with me at the time and I have not been careful with it at all and my screen looks like I just bought it.

There must be something wrong with your unit.
 

tnisatard

macrumors 6502
Apr 1, 2008
447
0
i remember people were bashing on others for using a screen protector with the 3Gs, but i guess now people have a good reason
 

Surely

Guest
Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
8
Los Angeles, CA
^^^^ Yes, you've mentioned that SpaceKitty. I understand that it could eventually wear off, but it shouldn't become a big distracting blob in the middle of the screen. If it just wore off and it wasn't staring me in the face, I wouldn't care.


i remember people were bashing on others for using a screen protector with the 3Gs, but i guess now people have a good reason
I don't think that it's a good reason. It's a really bad reason IMO.

Apple really should have spent more time testing this coating. There was nothing wrong with the previous screen. My only hope is that my issue (and the few other reports) are isolated incidents due to defective screens, and that it won't happen to the replacement they'll probably give me.

Ah well. I'll be sure to update what the outcome is after my Genius Bar visit later this morning.