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My iPhone 4 is about 15 months old now and the screen has completely lost the oleophobic property is had when it was new: finger smears now show up just like they do on other phones. Contrary to the comments on this question I've never cleaned it with any sort of solution: all it's ever had is the occasional wipe with a cotton cloth (well, T-shirt :), although of course it will also have been rubbed in the pocket of my jeans. It's never had a screen protector but is completely unscratched and undamaged.

So it seems the coating does wear off over time without using any kind of chemical agent. My question is, is it possible (either at Apple, a third-party service centre or at home) to re-apply it and get the screen back to its fresh-from-the-box state?

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

No. The organic material is applied during assembly. I'm not aware of any place that can "replenish" the lipophobic substance.

Apple has this to say:

"Please note that the ability of this coating to repel oil will diminish over time with normal usage, and that rubbing the screen with an abrasive material will further diminish its effect and may scratch your screen."

Source: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3226

You can, however look into replacement covers that also contain lipophobic properties: http://www.mobimega.com/sgp-steinheil-ultra-oleophobic-screen-protector-for-iphone-4.html

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There is a product called Fusso oleophobic coating (available here), that promises to restore the oleophobic properties of your iPhone display (there is also a tablet version)

I personally haven't tried it, but the website ifixit.com, specialists on repairing Apple products, say that the product works really well.

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use car wax polish and gently polish the screen, it gives the same effect, and it is cheap. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?s=059e3575c381d397e68881210a09255f&t=2232790&page=2

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