Apple could scrap popular iPhone product after less than a year

Apple rarely makes a misstep – or admits to one – when it comes to the iPhone, its most popular product by far. Now that we are up to the iPhone 15, the American smartphone is one of the most mature and well-rounded tech products in the world, with millions of loyal customers. But according to a new rumour, Apple could be about to scrap an iPhone accessory that has been around for less than a year.

According to Apple leaker Kosutami on X, Apple is set to stop production of its FineWoven line, the leather-free alternative range of iPhone cases and accessories the company introduced in September 2023 with the launch of the iPhone 15. Apple decided to stop making leather-based good entirely for environmental reasons, and also sold FineWoven Apple Watch straps as leather replacements. At the time, Apple described FineWoven as “an elegant and durable twill made from 68 percent post-consumer recycled content. FineWoven offers a subtle luster and a soft, suedelike feel.”

But tech reviewers and consumers alike have expressed criticism of the new material, which scratches easily against hard surfaces or under fingernails, and often appears very worn and battered after not much use. For what it’s worth, has been using an iPhone 15 Pro Max with a FineWoven case for several months and we don’t find the wear and tear too bad, but we are quite careful with our tech. Others have reported stains, damage, and discolouration of FineWoven cases.

Of course, phone cases are designed to protect the phone from damage, which is what these cases have still done well. But if the rumour is correct, Apple might have endured enough criticism to change tact and either update how FineWoven is made – it would be a rare admission of fault for Apple to scrap the line and brand name entirely.

FineWoven cases replaced Apple’s expensive (£59) but popular leather cases, which showed the wear and tear expected of leather but tended to develop an attractive patina over months and years. It’s been generally said that the FineWoven cases look tatty and dirty after mere days, though experience varies from person to person.

Rival Android manufacturers often cover the backs of their premium handsets with vegan leather, an animal-free alternative to leather that looks and feels like the real deal. There’s no indication if Apple would go down that route with its accessories but it might have made more sense than the company inventing a whole new material. It’s incredibly unlikely that we’ll see Apple revert back to real leather though, particularly given the firm says it’s committed to bringing its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.

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