Apple Leather Case iPhone 5/5S (Response Thread)

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by stcizzle, May 3, 2014.

  1. stcizzle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    NH, USA
    #1
    REFERRING TO THE THREAD TITLED "New Apple Leather Case"

    It was requested by a few members that I post this as a new thread so that it does not get lost in all the pages of the thread I previously posted it in as it pretty much summarizes the whole thing in one post. So here it is...

    I read this entire thread over the past 2 days (04/28/14-04/29/14) as I bought 2 of these cases (black and brown) and I usually like to read threads/reviews either before or right after purchase to know what to expect and do and not do to get the best results from the product.

    I'm going to summarize this thread as trying to find information within it is almost impossible because of its length. IMO, most of this thread was an absolute waste of time, but still interesting to listen to people's experiences and complaints/opinions... Here are my observations and insights and I think you will find some of my advice useful as I LOVE leather products and have zillions of them and I know how to care for them and take care of them;

    1. It seems at least 85% of the members who bought this case have either NEVER purchased a leather product OR have no understanding of what leather is and what it's supposed to do over time. It's SUPPOSED to change in appearance. It's SUPPOSED to DARKEN.

    2. It also seems at least 85% of the members who bought this case do not know how to read packaging as it clearly states that the appearance of the case will change over time. I understand that most assumed that over time didn't mean within the first couple of days, but that's not Apple's fault, it's your own. I (and Apple I'd assume) enjoy the appearance of aging and worn leather. It adds character. IMO most of the complaints are basically the same situation as when men who go out and buy a big, nasty, powerful work truck with huge tires but get pissed if mud gets on the tires.

    3. If you are concerned with the appearance changing over time, ONLY CONSIDER THE BLACK LEATHER. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE BLACK, OR IT IS BORING, BUY ANOTHER CASE, NOT A LEATHER ONE.

    4. AS FOR REMOVING THE CASE FROM THE PHONE, you simply have to play with it for a few minutes until you figure out what's right for you. Others have posted that the easiest way is to pop off the top two edges of the phone from the case, then apply slight pressure on the middle of the back of the case which will push the phone out. While this certainly works, I do not recommend it as you have to bend the frame of the case which will over time stretch the leather and weaken the plastic frame.
    THE EASIEST AND MOST "NON-DAMAGING" AND SAFEST WAY TO REMOVE THE CASE is to pop the top two edges of the iphone out from the case (as mentioned in the thread and above) BUT instead of putting pressure on the back of the case and bending it, simply put a narrow object with a soft end such as a pencil through the camera cutout and push the phone out. This is much easier, and IMO does not damage/wear/stretch/bend the case in any manner more than the case stretches when you put the phone into the case.

    5. ALMOST ALL DOCKS, CHARGING PORTS other than the one that comes with the phone, THIRD-PARTY HEADPHONE JACKS, ETC WILL NOT FIT WITH THIS CASE ON THE PHONE. Find out ahead of time by reading/searching this thread ("New Apple Leather Case") to save yourself and Apple the hassle BEFORE BUYING.

    6. PRICE - there have been several complaints about the price which I find unfounded. First of all, $40 is NOT that expensive for anyone who can afford an iPhone in the first place. Second of all, just the perfect fit of the case alone is worth the price. Third, there is no other case like it in the price range without adding significant bulk which almost no one wants. Lastly, if you just consider the quality of the leather which is nice regardless of wear, no one denies this thing feels amazing in the hand, the fit, the detail, the minimalistic, thin design, the inner soft lining, you really can't complain. I'm not going to go into all of the R&D arguments as there are always disputes and of course they are making profit on these; that's what any company does. What I'm saying is, if they sold these for $20 as some suggested, with all of the ridiculous returns/exchanges that are taking place, it wouldn't have been worth it to Apple to make these at this price point.

    7. The complaints about the "type of wear" are ridiculous. You will NEVER hear of a leather product lightening over time- it will only darken. So whatever color you choose, that is the brightest it will ever be. Once leather darkens, it cannot be lightened unless you bleach it which will not usually end up with good, even results and will damage the leather itself. You CAN clean the case, but all that will do, essentially, is clean it; NOT necessarily clean up the appearance. Anyone who knows leather also knows that color-dyed leather in general (blue, red, green, yellow, etc) doesn't look nearly as beautiful or age beautifully in appearance as black and any brown colored leather (not including beige LOL). This is mostly due to the fact that brighter colored dyes do not share any qualities with the natural patina process as black and brown naturally get better with time. That said, I STILL like the aging appearance of the lighter colors.

    8. As far as the leather ripping/plastic frame snapping where the headphone port is; I 100% believe this can only be caused from abuse/pressure/bending. Before you accuse me of accusing you of being rough with the case, hear this; With ANY case in the world, you should never remove/put pressure on parts of the case which are already weakened. You shouldn't pop the bottom of the phone out first, EVER, which will inevitably start to put pressure and stretch the leather in that area. But hey, Apple guarantees the case for 12months, so just get a new one for free if this happens to you.

    9. No one seems to understand that aniline leather is UNTREATED and NOT protected after production as most leather products are. This is NOT semi-aniline leather or pigmented leather. This means you must do this yourself as I will explain below, OR just listen to Apple's notice that the case will change appearance. Basically untreated leather will not deflect any dirt, grime, liquids but will be absorbed directly into the pores of the leather UNLESS you treat it yourself first as I will explain next.

    10. Since most of the members who bought this case have not really handled leather much, they also HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO PROPERLY CLEAN AND MAINTAIN LEATHER. Although highly recommended by others, you should NOT use a "soft" damp cloth to wipe the leather. First of all, your "soft" cloth has thousands of harsh chemicals in them from your dryer sheets and laundry detergents which is abrasive to leather. Second of all, baby wipes are VERY DAMAGING to leather, even if you don't notice it at first. In general, applying water alone, no matter how gentle you are with it, although it will clean the leather, it will eventually cause the pores in the leather to dry up and shrivel and look even worse than it did before you cleaned it. You SHOULD BE USING 2 TYPES OF LEATHER CLEANERS/CONDITIONERS. The first should be a cleaner such as saddle soap and the second should be a conditioner such as mink oil. (I WILL NOT BE DEBATING WHETHER SADDLE SOAP AND MINK OIL ARE STILL GOOD LEATHER PRODUCTS-they have been used for hundreds of years and I use them on ALL my watch straps, belts, shoes, ETC with no problems, EVER-people claim that there are better options nowadays which don't contain high alkaline, but I've never had a problem-If you are worried about this, TRY SOME LEXOL LEATHER PRODUCTS-THEY ARE GREAT AND WILL ACHIEVE THE SAME RESULTS AS WHAT I'M GOING TO DESCRIBE).

    THE SADDLE SOAP will clean the leather deep down inside the pores without drying them out as water, alcohol, baby-wipes, and most other cleaners will do and will absorb dirt, dust lint BEFORE it gets into the pores of the leather. Most liquid cleaning solutions are designed for porcelain, stone, plastic, tiles, etc which are not fragile, soft surfaces. To use saddle soap properly, I simply use my hands ONLY to avoid using cloths which have been washed by chemicals. I rub the saddle soap deep into all the pores, corners, crevices, etc in both circular motions and up and down and left to right to get the product into the leather in every pore-not in excess, but enough to cover the entire leather portion of the case and make sure I didn't miss any spots. This can feel really sticky when first applied, but will soften beautifully in a couple hours. I usually do this before I go to bed and let it sit overnight so that it can get deep into the leather. Then in the morning you can wipe away the excess material/surface leftover and now that it's had time to absorb into the leather, the leather should feel much softer.

    THEN I APPLY THE MINK OIL This will put a wax-like layer of protection on the leather which will make the leather more stain resistant, MUCH MORE WATER resistant, more scratch resistant, more resilient, more dirt resistant and will condition the leather and slow the wear and tear of the leather as well as prevent cracking and ripping.

    APPLYING BOTH OF THESE WILL MAKE THE AGING PROCESS MUCH MORE PLEASEANT BOTH IN FEEL AND APPEARANCE AND WILL DISPLAY THE WEAR MORE EVENLY as many ppl have complained about uneven wearing.

    11. OVERALL, for what the case is designed to be, I can't see it being much better. The fit, cut-outs are exact, looks SO CLEAN and like it came with the phone, the feel in the hand is amazing as is most leather, really can't complain. Of course they could have used better leather which ages more gracefully and added better color options, but that would have meant thicker which would have defeated the purpose of this type of case and also boosted the price up.

    I do agree that they could have come out with a pleather version for all the leather/wear appearance concerned customers, but then it wouldn't feel amazing in the hand and would essentially be just like any other plastic snap-on case and wouldn't be worth Apple's time developing/selling.

    PROS

    appearance superior to any other comparable case
    leather
    feel in the hand
    perfect fit
    difficult to take off (both a pro and con)
    official Apple case
    covered buttons feel great
    lay on the table protection without being excessive
    patina (on the brown/black AT LEAST LOL)
    apple logo in same location as on the phone
    no 5C hole design (puke)
    plain but sleek, professional design
    no camera flash interference
    precise cutouts and speaker/mic holes
    looks like came with the phone not an accessory

    CONS

    very thin leather
    wears easily
    difficult to take off (both a con and a pro)
    fragile especially around headphone jack if not removed properly
    should come with instruction manual for cleaning/installing/removing

    There you go, all 65 pages summarized in one post. I thought I'd save other ppl the hassle of taking 2 days to read the whole darn thing as I did.

    Here are a few pics on same day as purchased and treated as described above.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I WILL POST SOME PROGESS PICS IN A MONTH OR SO

    Lemme know if you have any comments/questions

    ----------

    One thing I'd like to clarify is that I recommended against cleaning the case with a slightly damp cloth as the cloth most likely has chemicals from dryer sheets, detergents etc AND I stated that this would dry out the leather and cause the wear of the case to accelerate and will make the case look like crap, essentially. This is assuming that cleaning the case with a damp cloth is the ONLY cleaning/treatment the case gets long term.

    It would be okay to do this if you clean and condition the leather with appropriate leather cleaners afterwards so that it doesn't dry out and shrink as it would if only water is applied.

    I had a couple of PMs asking about this.
     
  2. ionjohn macrumors 65816

    ionjohn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Yo

    What about the 5c cases? Got any feedback regarding that?
     
  3. stcizzle thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    NH, USA
    #3
    Here are a few pics after the second round of treatment 4 days after purchase. Feels much softer, has definitely darkened more (don't know if it's discernible due to differing lighting conditions), but is wearing almost perfectly evenly.

    Like I said, I'll post more pics in about a month...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. stcizzle thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    NH, USA
    #4
    No personal experience but I've heard that they break easily at the lightning charging port area as well (not sure if this is due to rough owners or just plainly that it's really thin material there) BUT overall, I really dislike the hole design and there are so many other cases out there for the 5c, id personally get something clear to keep the colored appearance of the 5c visible if I had a colored one and I dunno what'd id get if I had the white one- too many options- but I'd probably keep it white and black or brown leather.
     
  5. bigjim83 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    #5
    Good golly that was probably the longest post that I have almost read through
     
  6. carjakester macrumors 68020

    carjakester

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    Oct 21, 2013
    Location:
    Midwest
    #6
    I love my black leather case, I put conditioner on it once a week to kept it nice and soft. I really hope one is available for the 6, unless it is nice and curved then I will go nude.
     
  7. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

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    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #7
    I wish I had put conditioner on mine. Even though it's black, it really doesn't look so great anymore.
     
  8. carjakester macrumors 68020

    carjakester

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    Midwest
    #8
    how old is it? i didn't start using it until 2 months or so after, depending on how torn up yours is you could probably still put some on and it will be like new again.
     
  9. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #9
    You don't want to overdue it with the conditioner.
     
  10. carjakester macrumors 68020

    carjakester

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
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    Midwest
    #10
    by the time I reapply the case is already starting to get kinda dry and worn down so it needs it.
     
  11. samjwitwicky macrumors member

    samjwitwicky

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    #11
    I've been waiting for someone to write about the leather case.

    I just want to contribute to this thread, showing the development of patina on my brown case. Not trying to hijack your thread, if you feel this is inappropriate, let me know and I'll take my post down.

    I treated my case with Saddle soap, applied by hand, maybe 4 times. Age of case = 8 months. Daily usage, no babying.

    I'm pretty happy with the patina. Will try some mink oil soon to see if it will darken more.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. stcizzle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    I don't mind at all!!! I'm actually really happy u chimed in... I've been trying to explain to all the people complaining about this case that if you actually treat the leather (meaning cleaning it mostly, but conditioning as well), it will wear more evenly as yours is showing. It vexes me that people think that they can put their filthy hands all over a porous leather case, not clean it, and it shouldn't change in appearance (even when the packaging itself states it will change). Obviously, leather is going to darken anyway, but when it's unevenly dirty and naturally darkening it's obviously gunna look like crap!
     
  13. samjwitwicky macrumors member

    samjwitwicky

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    Mar 22, 2012
    #13

    Please share more photos of your patina as time passes by!
     
  14. Jalopybox macrumors 6502a

    Jalopybox

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    Nov 13, 2012
    #14
    This is not natural leather. It's dyed. It has no clear coat. The leather is cheap and very thin. It's darkening because the grain and dye are easily rubbed off.

    This is not like a natural untreated baseball mitt leather that darkens with time/oil. It's cheap paper thin bottom barrel leather from China.
     
  15. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

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    Upstate NY
    #15
    My case is now several months old. I have used black polish (not liquid), but it doesn't look right. There is a speckling effect that can only be seen under light. It looks fine otherwise. I just wish it would take polish better.
     
  16. carjakester macrumors 68020

    carjakester

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    #16
    has anyone had any experience with bringing a broken case back to apple? mine just broke in two places and was wondering if they would replace the case for that or not.
     
  17. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

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    Upstate NY
    #17
    I brought my red case in because it was nasty and they exchanged it for black. A broken case should be an easy exchange. Give it a shot. The worst they can say is no.
     
  18. bigjim83 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 14, 2011
  19. gaanee macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 8, 2011
    #19
    Is there any coating we can apply to prevent the case from darkening and wear?
     
  20. stcizzle thread starter macrumors regular

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    NH, USA
    #20
    Short of laminating the thing, or waxing it like a car or a bar counter, I don't think so. I'm not sure how leather would respond to that type of treatment anyway. But if u get the black leather case, it should barely show any wear.
     
  21. stellasturm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #21
    Thanks for taking the time OP stcizzle. I did get the (black) Apple leather case for my 5s as the glass screen protector I had purchased wasn't happening with my original case. Really digging the streamlined yet secure feel of this case and welcome the very slight caretaking it requires. While I'm not prissy with my phone, it was a tremendous investment and I use the Waterfield Designs Smart Sleeve for transport which the leather case/phone fit in like a charm.
    Considering we get handed 100% of the phone's capabilities without breaking a sweat and can travel the globe using nothing more than a swipe, physically cleaning and oiling the case feels deliciously retro ;) and relaxing.
     
  22. viewfly, Aug 4, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014

    viewfly macrumors 65816

    viewfly

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #22
    types of leather

    I think the type of care the OP is suggesting is a bit ridulous for a phone case.

    The leather type that Apple chose is what it is. I think they just chose the wrong type of leather. It was normal for people to expect for Apple to use a pigmented leather (one typically used in cars, upholstery furniture and camera cases and such going back to 50 yeears) - pigmented leather that is dyed and protectd to last from fading and wear. The coating is thin, less than 0.15 mm

    Learn about the 3 types of leather in this short, good site http://www.all-about-leather.co.uk/what-is-leather/leather-types.htm

    Analine leather, especially dyed with light colors that Apple chose, was a poor decision on Apple's part and is not the leather finish normally used for this type of product.

    The OP's summary, in my opinion, is a pretty heavy case of 'you're holding it wrong' It was a poor choice on Apples part, and not the consumers fault. Sure you may choose to have analine, but the mass market (and high end brands) leather purses, wallets, etc, don't use analine because it doesn't last, especially in light colors.

    my two cents, and I'm a big Apple fan.
     
  23. gaanee macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 8, 2011
    #23
    Looks like aniline leather was a deliberate choice by Apple, otherwise they would have changed it in the following months.
    Although the black case might not show wear, but what's the point in putting a black case on gold/silver iphone with a white front bezel?
     

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