Apple has got itself into big trouble with the hideous iPhone 15 FineWoven case

Apple’s new FineWoven cases for the iPhone 15 are a huge swing and miss. They suck. Apple should remove these from sale and refund everyone who has already purchased them. You can almost stop reading the story at this point, but I will present some evidence to support my claims.

When I unboxed my two new FineWoven cases for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, my first impressions were negative. I shared my thoughts on Twitter, but refrained from posting anything more in-depth until I could actually spend some time with the case on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Well, that’s what I did this weekend and my feelings haven’t changed. In fact, spending some time with FineWoven cases in the real world left me even more disappointed.

finewoven iphone 15

The FineWoven case design is fundamentally bad. In the image above, you can see what my case looks like after less than 48 hours of use. I also didn’t do anything wild. I took my iPhone 15 Pro Max out to do some camera testing, but otherwise my weekend was pretty low-key.

But I didn’t “fool” this issue, and you shouldn’t either. I put it in my backpack, popped it in and out of my pocket, and put it on the wireless charger. I treated it like a phone case should be treated.

The design is also uncomfortable to hold. The back is made of a velvety material, which Apple refers to as “suede” in some of its marketing. it is Good, in addition to the above durability problems. However, the kicker is the rubber (fake leather? plastic?) edges. These are hard, rough, and difficult to hold for more than a few minutes at a time without your hands cracking.


But here’s the straw that broke the camel’s back for me: The cutout on FiveWoven cases for USB-C is so narrow and obscured that many USB-C cables don’t fit through the hole. I first encountered this on Saturday night when I tried to plug a Nomad USB-C cable into my iPhone 15. The edges of the connector are sometimes a little too wide.

You can see in the image above how the cable doesn’t fit and how I tried to jam it in there by lifting the case up a bit under the edges of the iPhone.

finewoven misalighned port

on stephen hackett 512 pixels Saw something similar. He also pointed out that the cutout seems to vary from case to case, and the cutout is not centered properly in some cases.

Apple’s USB-C cables fit into the holes in the FineWoven case without any issues. But this does mean that people purchasing third-party cables will have to somehow verify that said cable will actually work with their FineWoven case before making their purchase. It sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it?

finewoven iphone 15

Federico Viticci shared this on Mastodon: “Went out to dinner with friends last night and left my phone on the table. As I have done hundreds of times since 2008. “When I woke up this morning, there was a stain on the fine-woven case.”

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And Parker Ortolani shared this image, showing a demo display of Apple’s FineWoven Case at an Apple Store that looks absolutely ridiculous:

Some other news:

  • We’re told Apple Stores are having to replace the fine-woven cases on display at least once a day because they’re starting to look so shabby.
  • Some Apple Store employees are actively encouraging buyers to choose silicone cases or third-party cases.
  • This also explains why it was so difficult to spend hands-on time with FineWoven in the Steve Jobs Theater after the iPhone 15 event. I had to specifically ask to look into the matter. They were not readily available on the table to try.

I used a leather case on my iPhone 14 Pro Max for a year, and it looks worn and cracked. But then, I used it for a whole year. If FineWoven cases are already looking so bad for many, will they even last a year? That’s a valid question to ask when they cost $59.

The obvious counterpoint to all this is that affairs are meant to be dirty, meant to be beaten. After all, it’s better for your case to look bad than for your phone to look bad.

finewoven taupe

Apple has made the right decision by abandoning leather this year for environmental reasons. I am in favor of not using animals to make phone cases. But then again, finewoven is not the answer. What is the environmental impact of replacing these cases? Or the environmental impact of every Apple Store replacing display units every day?

You’re better off buying Apple’s silicone case for the iPhone 15 or opting for some kind of third-party case. Or simply use your iPhone 15 case-free. I think that’s my plan for a while at least. If you’ve already dropped $50 on the FineWoven Case, I’d recommend checking out Apple’s 14-day return policy.

At the end of the day, does any of this really matter? These are just phone cases. There are bigger problems in the world than this. But we are here. It’s Monday morning, and I spent 90 minutes talking about phone cases. such is life.

Anyway, have a nice week!

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