Does the iPhone 5 have an oleophobic (fingerprint-resistant) coating? I searched but could only find info on the 3GS.

This is my first iPhone, and it seems to smudge very easily. I do tend to have very moist skin, so it could be me, but since its my first one I have no comparison.

For now, I've taken to wiping it down every night with a microfiber cloth and a drop of camera/glasses lens cleaner.

Is this normal to have to clean it so often?

1 Answer 1


Yes, the iPhone 5 (and I believe all iOS devices since the 3GS) have had an oleophobic coating. You can check this on Apple's Tech Specs page:

Retina display
4-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
500 cd/m2 max brightness (typical)
Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on front
Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously

I find I don't have to clean my iPhone 4S that often to make the display clear when it's on, but the smudges are definitely noticeable when the display is off. However everyone secretes different amounts of natural oils, so you may just have the bad luck of having smudgy fingers I'm afraid.

You may want to be careful about how you clean it however. Using cleaners may actually degrade the oleophobic coating. I find that a microfiber cloth does a good job on its own. Have a look at Apple's cleaning instructions for things to avoid.

  • I tried just using a cloth but it only smeared. The cleaner is alcohol free and designed for lenses. I guess I might have smudgy fingers like you said, but its bad enough that a cloth alone won't clean it. What else can I do?
    – ERJ
    Oct 3, 2012 at 20:22
  • Maybe try a different cloth. The one I use is double sided, one side has a towel-like texture, the other is smooth like a typical microfiber cloth. I find the towel-like side works best, my technique is firmly wiping towards the sides of the device (not rubbing in circles, that just seems to smudge more). Some water could also help.
    – robmathers
    Oct 3, 2012 at 20:32
  • I'll try to find something like that. I've only had the phone two days (cleaning twice with the spray, do you think I've already ruined the coating just doing it twice?
    – ERJ
    Oct 3, 2012 at 20:48
  • Highly doubt its ruined
    – segiddins
    Oct 4, 2012 at 2:56
  • Well, since I've had the phone a few days, I'm not smudging it as badly, maybe a subconcious adjustment? Anyway, the microfiber is now generally able to remove what little marks I do put on by itself.
    – ERJ
    Oct 5, 2012 at 19:16

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