Matte Screen from Apple

  2 (Goal: 500,000)

Petitioning: Apple makes antiglare high res screen

Petitioner: Oleksandr Eealname started on June 14, 2012

Note: petition’s goal is 100,000 signatures. Total as of 12th June 2012: there are 2,202 petitions (To see full list, click “Older Comments”). The glossy-only iMac came out on August 7, 2007 – that’s 4 years 10+ months that Apple has refused to listen to me.

Please add your petition at the bottom of the webpage (iPad users, click comments button). Apple is aware of this petition because it is periodically emailed to Apple at each milestone-number (see Steve Jobs’ email below).



Apple must offer the matte screen for iMac’s, all the MacBook Pro/Air models, and Cinema Displays. (Currently only the 15″/17″ MacBook Pros have antiglare screens).

The matte screen issue will not die down even with the passing of time.

Because …

The glare from glossy screens causes eye strain for many people. The matte screen solves this eye health issue. This issue will not go away because whether or not a person is adversely affected by screen reflections is not a passing technological fad.

It’s not like Steve Jobs cutting the floppy disk from the first iMac in 1998, or cutting the DVD drive. Hundred years on, no one cares anymore because diskette and optical disk technology will have come and gone. Even the Firewire 400 protests will subside eventually. In a decade’s time, no one will care about Firewire 400 if less and less peripherals use it.

The matte screen issue is different. It’s not a technology that comes and goes.

Rather, the matte issue has to do with the physiology of the human eye. Some people are more prone to eye-strain when starring for hours at reflective surfaces. Although other technologies come and go, people will continue to get eye strain from extended viewing of glossy surfaces. People’s eyes differ, therefore some people are not fussed by the reflections from gloss screens; but many others are.

This is why, even 100 years from now in 2109, the matte screen issue will still be there. Indeed, in 100 years time we may be coming to the realization of what a decade of daily staring at highly reflective screens has done to our eyes.

Apple’s reasons for cutting the matte screen are flawed:

Steve Jobs says most people prefer glossy, but a google search for “matte glossy polls MacBook” reveals that around 1% prefer matte. Sure, technically, that means “most” people do prefer glossy, but 1% of the Mac community is not to be ignored. Skeptics try to dismiss such poll results by rationalizing that the poll-questions are skewed, but the fact is this large 1%-ish result is roughly consistent across many online polls. (Click the link to see a review of poll results).

Phil Schiller, Apple’s Vice President of Marketing, says you can avoid gloss reflections by tilting the screen, but this is simply not true in 100% of cases, as attested to by the protests on numerous blogs.

Maybe Apple thinks it’ll sell more Macs because glossy computers attract people in showrooms. But there are many Mac users who will not, and cannot buy new Macs because they cannot tolerate the gross reflections from gloss screens (for example, see the numerous comments below from Mac users, like myself, who refuse to buy a Mac with a glossy screen).

Maybe Apple realises it is not profitable for it to offer two types of screens. Then, don’t just cut the matte screen. Instead, to cover the costs, charge people more for it as an added extra. People are willing to pay. Why only offer anti-glare on the 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pro’s? Extend it to the iMac and other MacBook and MacBook Pro models too. Even with the Mac Mini and Mac Pro, Apple users are forced to buy non-Apple screens if they want matte. Why?

Many people in the graphics industry and photographers need matte screens particularly for accurate color calibration, and I’ll leave them to add further comments below since I don’t have experience in that area. As for me, I’m a writer, and I stare at a screen usually 16 hours a day. I just cannot tolerate gloss screens. If Apple does not bring back the matte option, I’ll see how long my white iMac and MacBook Pro can last for.

I will not buy a new Mac with a gloss screen. Right now, even though I am ready to upgrade both my computers, I am forced to keep my matte iMac and matte MacBook Pros going as long as possible simply because of the lack of matte screens.

At most, it’ll have to be a new Mac Mini coupled to a Dell or other non-Apple matte screen.

For the record, for about a year, I have regularly been using a glossy iMac (black bevel model) when I visit my parents’ home. From that experience, I find that glossy screens are superb in those environments where reflections can be largely minimised, such as where the only window in the room is perpendicular to the iMac’s screen, however, at my own home and workplace, the room arrangements require the computer screen to directly face the open, sunny windows. In those instances, the reflections from the glossy screen are intolerable.

Hence, we’re not saying matte is always better than glossy. There are enough supporters of both such that neither can be said to be superior. Apple must recognize that too, and not side only with the glossy camp.

In addition to leaving comments below, please also give feedback to Apple directly on bringing back matte screens to all Macs.