Are Apple’s FineWoven iPhone Cases Shoddy?

Joanna Stern, in her weekly newsletter:

There it is, everyone. My iPhone 15 Pro Max’s FineWoven case after five months of use. The edges are peeling, the fabric is scratched up like an old CD and it’s browning like a rotten banana. I’ve been waiting for the CDC to show up at my house to declare it a biomedical concern.

Some of you will say: “JOANNA! How gross are you?” Others — those who bought this case for $59 when it came out in September — will likely say: “Yep. Same issues here.”

Apple made a big eco-friendly deal about the FineWoven case when it was announced alongside the iPhone 15 models in the fall. Replacing the company’s leather cases, Apple said this FineWoven material was “an elegant and durable new textile” and that it was made from 68% “post-consumer recycled content.” Admirable. Except nothing has been fine about the FineWoven case.

The accompanying photo is, in a word, gross. Personally, I like the feel of a new FineWoven case, and used one happily while on a trip to Orlando back in the fall (I like the additional grip of a case — any case — when I’m (a) sweaty and (b) using the camera a lot) but I’ve gone caseless almost the entire time I’ve owned my iPhone 15 Pro. I’ve generally gone caseless with all my iPhones, but even more so with the iPhone 15 Pro because I find the titanium so pleasantly grippy compared to the polished stainless steel of the iPhones X through 14.

But it really does seem, five months in, that FineWoven is a failure, durability-wise, compared to Apple’s previous leather cases. And I am repulsed by Apple’s FineWoven Apple Watch straps — I wish I’d bought a spare leather Magnetic Link strap while they sold them. Setting aside durability, I just find the FineWoven Magnetic Link straps to be cheap-feeling, but they cost $100.

If you own and have regularly used a FineWoven case, I’m running a poll regarding durability/satisfaction on Mastodon, Threads, and Twitter/X.

Saturday, 24 February 2024