Hands on: Apple's new FineWoven iPhone 15 cases

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2023

Ahead of the iPhone 15 launch, we nabbed all of Apple's new FineWoven cases. These are Apple's new eco-friendly alternatives to its popular leather cases, and we're going hands on.

Apple FineWoven cases
Apple FineWoven cases



The new cases are available in five new colors. None are particularly vibrant, sticking with the dark, muted earth tones to compliment the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

We also took a look at the new MagSafe wallet that was updated too.

Apple's new FineWoven case colors are Cypress, black, Mulberry, Pacific Blue, and taupe.

Apple FineWoven cases



Apple has continued its environmental push, dropping leather from all of its products and even in Apple Stores. FineWoven is Apple's replacement and is now found in its cases, AirTag covers, MagSafe wallets, and Apple Watch bands.

The new FineWoven cases stacked
The new FineWoven cases stacked



In many ways, FineWoven is similar to the leather cases it supplants. The back has a depressed Apple logo in the center, because they of course need Apple branding.

Aluminum buttons on the FineWoven cases
Aluminum buttons on the FineWoven cases



The buttons are still aluminum and have been anodized to match the color of the cases. Since we looked at the iPhone 15 Pro Max cases, they sport the Action Button on the side.

Apple knows button feel is important so the buttons, including the Action Button, free float and make direct contact with the buttons they cover.

Interior of the FineWoven cases
Interior of the FineWoven cases



The interior microfiber has been replaced by more FineWoven material, providing an updated soft material to butt up against your phone.

FineWoven case in Pacific Blue
FineWoven case in Pacific Blue



We're a bit torn on the FineWoven material. It is very soft, almost satin-like, but seems to hold dust easily. The sides of the case also feel plastic-like, though they still have some texture to them.

Leather versus FineWoven cases
Leather versus FineWoven cases



The sides are one of the bigger differences. The leather cases had leather wrap all round the edges and to the inside, while the new ones have a distinct separation from the back to the sides.

In our limited testing, the new cases do seem to be more water resistant though. They do soak up water, but seem to dry without any damage.

FineWoven MagSafe wallet



To couple with the new cases, Apple has updated versions of its MagSafe wallets. Like with the cases, there are no longer any leather options.

It's available in the same five colors as the above FineWoven cases and we picked one up in Pacific Blue.

Leather MagSafe Wallet versus FineWoven wallet
Leather MagSafe Wallet versus FineWoven wallet



Unsurprisingly, the new wallet feels just like the case. A slight, velvet-like texture with a hole on the back to help remove the stored cards.

One nice addition is that this new texture makes the attraction feel stronger. Leather on leather would slide more easily.

This should prevent the wallet from inadvertently coming off the phone when in your pocket.

Otherwise, it is the same case we've had for the last year, including limited Find My support.

Available now



Apple's new FineWoven cases and the updated MagSafe wallets are available to order now for $59.

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    The real question is how do they wear?  I wonder if they patina? 
    That was my favorite thing about the leather cases. They look awesome patina and scared. 
    selleringtonanantksundarampscooter63CelticPaddy
  • Reply 2 of 25
    More from 3rd party will be coming out proly way cheaper than Apple
    grandact73CelticPaddy
  • Reply 3 of 25
    Still haven’t fixed the wallet. Badly needs a cutout at the bottom to assist in pushing cards out. Hole on the back just allows your thumb to slide on cards. Might’ve been okay in long-gone days of raised lettering. 
    d_2kurai_kage
  • Reply 4 of 25
    I found the silicone case lasted years on my iPhone 6 but on my 12pro with sharper edges, when dropped, it concentrates more energy into the corner. This quickly cracks the underlying plastic. I switched to leather and it is much better for durability. I think I might switch beck to silicone for my 15pro max with its slightly rounded edges as I’m pretty sure the fine woven will look like trash quickly due to my dirty job.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 5 of 25
    The question is, what exactly is this FineWoven? I don't buy 'eco-friendly' claim until I have exact details. The name implies that it is some kind of fabric. And im sure Apple wants us to think this way. But it looks like it's a variety of a plastic. If that is the case, then this shift from leather to plastic has nothing to do with climate concerns and is more about higher profit margins. By the way, leather is infinitely more eco-friendly than silicon. And yet, it is relatively more expensive leather which is discontinued and we still have a great variety of silicon.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    It might be cool to have some simple, standard tests for each type of case:

    1. Lint: get some lint from your laundry dryer filter and spread it on the case. Does it wipe off easily?
    2. Scratches: scratch with fingernail and regular house keys. Does it show? Can you buff them out easily just by massaging them with your finger? How does it look after a week of use in your pocket?
    3a. Water: Show what happens if you spill some water when the case is flat and when angled.
    3b. Water: Dunk the case half way into a glass of water and let it sit (1 minute?).
    3c. Water: Is the interior material likely to retain moisture?
    4. Internal storage: Inside my cases I like to keep an "emergency" $20 bill and two $1 bills (for a vending machine). They are each folded in half. How much can you store inside the case and still have the phone fit OK and not be likely to pop out of the case? Could you carry a driver's license and/or credit card? Does a certain thickness prevent MagSafe from locking or reduce charging speed? (Also, does a plastic card with a magnetic stripe get harmed if you store it inside the case and use MagSafe?)

    kurai_kagebyronl
  • Reply 7 of 25
    I don't quite get it.  
    #1 Leather is a by-product of the food industry.  I doubt that any more cows were needed to make the cases.
    #2 A recent study showed that leather watch straps hold significantly fewer germs.  I imagine that same goes for the cases.
    #3 Leather ages well, forms a patina and stays clean well.
    #4 Leather is water resistant.
    xyzzy01d_2JMStearnsX2pscooter63kurai_kagewilliamlondonralphiebyronl
  • Reply 8 of 25
    rchg said:
    The question is, what exactly is this FineWoven? I don't buy 'eco-friendly' claim until I have exact details. The name implies that it is some kind of fabric. And im sure Apple wants us to think this way. But it looks like it's a variety of a plastic. If that is the case, then this shift from leather to plastic has nothing to do with climate concerns and is more about higher profit margins. By the way, leather is infinitely more eco-friendly than silicon. And yet, it is relatively more expensive leather which is discontinued and we still have a great variety of silicon.
    Per the Apple website it is twill (a type of fabric) and it is made of 68% recycled materials. I recall that they said it was recycled yarn in the keynote but not watching it again to verify.
    Alex1Nbyronl
  • Reply 9 of 25
    Zero_Cool said:
    First, USB-C, then a multi function button that no one needs. Now we are creating petri dishes for bacteria and inferior designs? Have they been drinking the google kool aid? 

    USB C is long overdue and the main reason I didn't buy the last one but stayed with my iPhone 12 Pro. Better charging, faster transfer, less cables to bring along - a great change. Apple stagnated in the connector department and hasn't innovated here for a decade, probably because it got addicted to royalties on the obsolete lightning cable.

    The multi-function button just replaces another button - mute. You can now use it for other things if you want.

    As for the subject of this article... not sure what I'll get when I order the Pro Max(*). I might just get something from another manufacturer, as I prefer real leather to plastic fabrics no matter how they try to brand it. Also, microplastic pollution is a big threat and this results in more of that.


    (*) unfortunately, the best camera isn't also available on the Pro - the size of the Pro Max is a negative.
    Alex1Npscooter63
  • Reply 10 of 25
    The real question is how do they wear?  I wonder if they patina? 
    That was my favorite thing about the leather cases. They look awesome patina and scared. 
    Its patina will be dirty it gathers. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 25
    xbitxbit Posts: 391member
    My FineWoven case turned up today and I'm not a huge fan. The difference in materials between the sides and back looks ugly IMO. I'll see how it fares though before looking at <gasp> third-party options.
    Alex1Nmuthuk_vanalingamCelticPaddybyronl
  • Reply 12 of 25
    I would love some close-up pictures of the stitching and side seams on the wallet. I ditched the leather wallet because the seams did not hold up over time and the seam sealant or edge treatment was flaking off a few weeks in. Straight up stitching could be much sturdier on fine woven. 
    kurai_kagewilliamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 25
    Zero_Cool said:
    First, USB-C, then a multi function button that no one needs. Now we are creating petri dishes for bacteria and inferior designs? Have they been drinking the google kool aid? 
    All that handwringing will probably kill any bacteria on your hands.
    pscooter63dewmewilliamlondonkdupuis77
  • Reply 14 of 25
    I was interested until I saw the plastic sides, looks kinda cheap to me in the video at least. I've always been caseless on my iPhones until I finally got into the leather case on my iPhone 12 Pro when traveling and acknowledging my propensity for dropping phones, and learned to love it. I went through two of them before trying something different as they're no longer selling those cases for the 12 series that I could find.

    I've since landed on the Caudabe Sheath and think it's pretty great. One of the nicer polymer cases I've tried, and has the grippiness of the Apple leather cases that I liked, without the rapid wear you get with leather. May be what I go with on my next iPhone as well.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    I was interested until I saw the plastic sides, looks kinda cheap to me in the video at least. I've always been caseless on my iPhones until I finally got into the leather case on my iPhone 12 Pro when traveling and acknowledging my propensity for dropping phones, and learned to love it. I went through two of them before trying something different as they're no longer selling those cases for the 12 series that I could find.

    I've since landed on the Caudabe Sheath and think it's pretty great. One of the nicer polymer cases I've tried, and has the grippiness of the Apple leather cases that I liked, without the rapid wear you get with leather. May be what I go with on my next iPhone as well.
    I concur,  i have the Caudabe sheath and it’s by far one of the best cases i’ve had.  Looks and feels great and super durable.  Oh,  it is reasonably priced too.
    pscooter63fastasleep
  • Reply 16 of 25
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,105member
    Zero_Cool said:
    Now we are creating petri dishes for bacteria
    You just described every iPhone… well, every touch device on the market. 
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 17 of 25
    They made a poo-colored case. Neat.
    edited September 2023 CelticPaddywilliamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 25
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,423member
    I think this was the best Apple could achieve under the circumstances. Once Naugas went extinct from over harvesting to support the American automobile interior and recliner industries they had come up with an alternative to Naugahyde. This is simply what they had to settle on, cows be damned. 
  • Reply 19 of 25
    Zero_Cool said:
    First, USB-C, then a multi function button that no one needs. Now we are creating petri dishes for bacteria and inferior designs? Have they been drinking the google kool aid? 
    🤦‍♂️🙄
  • Reply 20 of 25
    rchg said:
    The question is, what exactly is this FineWoven? I don't buy 'eco-friendly' claim until I have exact details. The name implies that it is some kind of fabric. And im sure Apple wants us to think this way. But it looks like it's a variety of a plastic. If that is the case, then this shift from leather to plastic has nothing to do with climate concerns and is more about higher profit margins. By the way, leather is infinitely more eco-friendly than silicon. And yet, it is relatively more expensive leather which is discontinued and we still have a great variety of silicon.
    That makes no sense. They would have simply added these instead of eliminating leather. Time to take your tinfoil hat off. 
    williamlondon
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