Apple, for environmental reasons, replaced its leather iPhone cases with ones made of FineWoven, a manmade "luxurious and durable microtwill" with a cool texture. iPhone users rushed online to say they hate it; it stains, it holds grease, cleaning it makes it worse, etc. iFixit took a look at the stuff under a 500x microscope and found a miracle of science—that wears fast.
The new FineWoven iPhone cases are very bad, writes Allison Johnson at The Verge.
FineWoven is very much not the premium material that leather is. When I popped the MagSafe wallet out of its box, I could clearly see some places where it was already showing wear along the edges. Little bits of lint immediately caught on the fabric, too. And then there's the fingernail test.
Apple weaved itself into a fine mess with the awful iPhone 15 FineWoven case, writes Chance Miller at 9to5 Mac.
I used a leather case on my iPhone 14 Pro Max for a year, and it looks worn down and ragged. But again, I used it for an entire year. If FineWoven cases are already looking this bad for many people, will they even last a year? This is a valid question worth asking when they cost a whopping $59.
"Categorically terrible," MacRumors' Tim Hardwick sums up.
"Received and returned," said another forum member. "Felt cheap almost like cardboard." EvanEiga replied: "The case itself is nice IMO, but I'm not sure if the premium cost is worth it. Leather cases felt so much nicer. I am all for mother nature but when it comes to bang for the buck, FineWoven case is just subpar." Most respondents to a MacRumors forum poll thus far seemed to agree.
Positive customer reactions are just as hard to find on Twitter (X). "I've been using Apple's cases for my phones since the iPhone 7," said X user @eggbutspam, "but I've never returned a case so fast like I did with the FineWoven case I preordered last Friday. FineWoven looks like absolute trash."
"Just got mine in the mail," reported one Reddit user. "It's basically like a polyester pillowcase sandwiched in a plastic shell. I don't hate it, but $60 is kind of insulting."
A rare marketing misjudgment on Apple's part: that its users were predominantly fades 'n' patina types, when most are really wiped 'n' unblemished types. I went to see if there was a white FineWoven case, with the intent of buying one immediately, but was disappointed. I want nothing more right now that a white FineWoven iphone case.