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Apple's $59 FineWoven cases for iPhone 15 took heavy flak when they were released last September for being subpar compared to the leather Apple cases they replaced. Now, The Wall Street Journal columnist Joanna Stern has distilled customers' ire by sharing her own experience with the case after five months of use.

finewoven-case-stern.jpeg
Image credit: Joanna Stern

From Stern's 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."

[...]

Early on, tech news sites like The Verge complained about scratches in the fabric. At online retailers, the people who gave the case one or two stars all point out the same issues—peeling edges, scratches, proclivity to get dirty. On Best Buy, many say they'll never buy an Apple case again and that it’s the worst product Apple's ever made. Same on Amazon.

An Apple spokesman said that the company's cases are engineered at the highest standard to protect iPhones and that the FineWoven case's durable microtwill will protect an iPhone for years.
An Apple support document offers advice about cleaning its FineWoven cases, but the section's small print admits that "The material may look different and show wear over time as the fibers get compressed with normal use" and that "some scratches may diminish over time."

Responding to Stern's five-month review, Daring Fireball's John Gruber created identical polls across multiple social media platforms asking FineWoven case owners for their opinion, and respondents appear to have overwhelmingly voted in agreement that "It's a piece of junk."


Despite the continued bad publicity almost six months on from the cases' debut, Apple still appears unwilling to admit that its leather alternative material is a letdown. But in the court of public opinion, all the evidence suggests this is an open and shut case: FineWoven is just bad.

Article Link: Not-So-FineWoven iPhone Case 'Browning Like a Rotten Banana'
 
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MrWeenus

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2017
161
250
Romania
I'm going to get a lot of hate for this, but I actually like these cases very much. Sure, I don't use my phone as a fetch toy for dogs or anything like that, so I did not have any problems with it.

Bought one around November and it's still looking as it was when I purchased it. The only difference is that it has skin oils embedded in it - but that's a normal thing and can be washed off easily with a bristle toothbrush.

Not sure what people are doing with their phones that it gets so bad...
 

HarryPot

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2009
1,061
515
Apple cases have always been ****....
Overpriced and get damaged very quickly.

I remember buying the first iPad Pro keyboard folio case that was released. It didn't last long before the "leather" started peeling off, and in maybe 1.5 years the keyboard itself stopped working completely.
Same with the previous iPad leather case I had, became ugly fairly quickly.

I much prefer the cheap plastic ones, at least they last a long time and always look "as new".
 

anthony131

macrumors newbie
Apr 17, 2021
20
31
I don't doubt the concerns but this photo isn't helping - (other than the fingerprints all over the cameras) it looks nice to me. Granted, I'm someone who has never used a phone case so what do I know.
 
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HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
Let's see...

"It's genius how this case is able to customize itself to each user. No two are alike! Only Apple can create self-customizing cases."

"That is not a problem, it's a feature. It means it is time to give Apple another $59. You get that 'brand new' feeling a couple of times each year instead of only once or twice over the life of the iPhone."

"Peeling, scratched and browning is 'iconic'."

"Without having to say a word, it clearly shows how much we use and love iPhone. Incidentally, mine is beginning to have this odd aroma, so additional bonus: people will be able to smell how much I use and love iPhone! Only Apple genius..."

"But who makes the most profitable iPhone covers?"

"I have had one since day 1. And I work two jobs: handling manure for half the day and then handling corrosive acids the other half. This case is still in perfect form, looking as good as- no wait, BETTER THAN- when it was new."

Etc. Wonder Twin powers... Activate... Show me a defense force with other spin... Make me a defender of the almighty. ;)

More seriously: buy better cases from other sources. Apple makes mistakes. Just about all of them can be remedied by considering options BEYOND the walled garden. There's TONS of such stuff out there.
 
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everybodylovesramen

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2021
55
269
i returned the one i preordered with the 15 pro max - and ended up being gifted one for xmas

and

i found a few sellers on ebay selling the finewoven & a leather version for the 15 pm

comparing the wear on the real vs the bootleg is weird because the bootleg shows next to no wear, while the real one really likes to absorb hand oils apparently
 
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sunapple

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2013
2,740
5,069
The Netherlands
Silicone cases always used to peel after a good year or so. Apple cases have been too expensive and poor quality for as long as I can remember.

The fact that they don’t make leather cases anymore, which would have held up better, is a shame but they’re not going to return.

It would surprise me if these FineWoven cases remained completely unchanged for iPhone 16.
 
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Pennypacker83

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2010
138
97
I've owned the case since its release and have had no issues with it. I wear very tight jeans and keep my phone in the front pocket. I use my phone everywhere, including while I'm outside in the rain or snow, eating, etc. I honestly don't give a damn. And it still looks brand-new. There isn't even a single scratch. I don't understand what so many people do with their phones that the cases look like this.
 

nmeed

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2014
535
206
At first I didn't really take a look at the photo because I've seen a bunch of "FineWoven" sucks posts. But then I looked at it and this might be partially her issue. Take a look at her lenses. Heck, even the glass next to the lenses is dirty. I don't doubt that the FineWoven cases don't age well, but she may need to wash her hands more often than the monthly ritual she currently has going on.
 
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