Not-so-thin woven iPhone case 'goes dark like a rotten banana'

Tim Hardwick

Apple's $59 FineWoven iPhone 15 cases were heavily criticized when they were released last September because they were substandard compared to the Apple leather cases they replaced. Now Wall Street Journal columnist Joanna Stern has expressed customer anger by sharing her own experience with the case after five months of use.

Image credit: Joanna Stern
From Stern's newsletter:

That's it. FineWoven case for my iPhone 15 Pro Max after five months of use. The edges peel, the fabric scratches like an old CD and turns brown like a rotten banana. I was waiting for the CDC to show up at my house and declare it a biomedical problem.
Some of you will say, “JOANNA! How rude are you? Others—those who bought this case for $59 when it came out in September—will likely say, “Yeah. Same problem here.”


At first, tech news sites like The Verge complained about scratches on the fabric. In online stores, people who gave this case one or two stars note the same problems – peeling edges, scratches, tendency to get dirty. At Best Buy, many people say they will never buy an Apple case again and that it is the worst product Apple has ever made. The same can be said for Amazon.

An Apple spokesperson said that the company's cases are designed to the highest standards to protect the iPhone, and the durable micro-twill of the FineWoven case will protect the iPhone for years to come.

An Apple support document gives tips for cleaning FineWoven cases, but the section's fine print admits that “the material may look different and wear over time as the fibers shrink under normal use” and that “some scratches may fade with time”.

Responding to Stern's five-month review, John Gruber of Daring Fireball created identical polls on multiple social media platforms asking FineWoven case owners for their opinions, and respondents seemed to overwhelmingly vote that “It's time ” piece of garbage.”

Despite continued bad publicity nearly six months after the cases' debut, Apple still seems unwilling to admit that its alternative leather material is a disappointment.But in terms of public opinion, all the evidence points to that it's an open and shut case: FineWoven is just bad.

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