Apple’s new FineWven cases for the iPhone 15 are a big hit and miss. They suck. Apple should remove it from sale and refund everyone who already bought one. You can stop reading the story at this point, but I will provide some evidence to support my claims.
When I unboxed the 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 spend some time using the cases with the cases on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Well, that’s what I did this weekend, and my feelings haven’t changed. In fact, spending time with FineWven cases in the real world left me even more disappointed.
The FineWoven case design is fundamentally bad. In the photo above, you can see what my case looked like after less than 48 hours of use. And I didn’t do anything wild either. I took my iPhone 15 Pro Max out for some camera testing, but other than that I had a pretty quiet weekend.
But I didn’t care about the case either, and neither should you. I threw them in my bag, stuck them in and out of my pockets, and put them on the wireless chargers. I handled it the way a phone case should be handled.
The design is also uncomfortable to hold. The back is made of a velvety material, which Apple refers to as “suede” in a few of its marketing. This is it fine, other than the durability issues mentioned above. However, the kicker is the rubber edges (faux leather? Plastic?). These things are hard, rough, and difficult to hold for more than a few minutes at a time without digging them into your hands.
But here’s the straw that broke the camel’s back for me: the slot in FiveWoven’s USB-C cases is so narrow and inaccurate that many USB-C cables don’t fit into the slot. I first encountered this on Saturday night when I tried to connect the Nomad USB-C cable to my iPhone 15. The edges of the connector are somewhat too wide.
You can see in the photo above how the cable doesn’t fit and how I tried to jam it in there by lifting the case just below the edges of the iPhone.
Stephen Hackett in 512 pixels I noticed something similar. He also noted that the separation appears to vary from case to case, and that the separation is not centered correctly on some cases.
Apple’s USB-C cables fit through the FineWoven case slot with no problem. But this means that people who buy third-party cables will have to somehow verify before purchasing that said cable will actually work with their FineWoven case. That sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?
Federico Viticci shared this on Mastodon: “I went out to dinner with friends last night and put my phone on the table. Like I’ve done hundreds of times since 2008. I woke up this morning with a stain on my FineWoven tray.
And Parker Ortolani shared This image shows a demo of Apple’s FineWoven cases at the Apple Store, and they look pretty damn elaborate:
Some other tidbits:
- We’ve been told that Apple Stores have to replace their FineWoven cases on display at least once a day because they become so disgusting looking.
- Some Apple Store employees actively encourage buyers to choose silicone cases or third-party cases.
- This also explains why it was difficult to get hands-on time with FineWoven at the Steve Jobs Theater after the iPhone 15 event. I had to specifically ask to see the case. It was not readily available on tables to try.
I’ve been using a leather case on my iPhone 14 Pro Max for a year, and it looks worn and torn. But again, I used it for a whole year. If FineWven cases already look this bad to so many people, will they even last a year? That’s a valid question worth asking when it costs a whopping $59.
The obvious counterargument to all of this is that the issues are meant to get dirty, and are meant to get dirty. After all, it’s better for your case to look bad than for the phone itself to look bad.
Apple made the right decision by ditching leather this year for environmental reasons. I support not using animals to make phone cases. But again, FineWven is not the solution. What is the environmental impact of these cases that need to be replaced? Or the environmental impact of every Apple Store that has to replace display units daily?
You’d better buy Apple silicone cover for iPhone 15 Or just choose a third party case of some sort. Or just use your iPhone 15 without a case. I think that’s my plan, at least for now. If you’ve already dropped $50 on a FineWoven case, I recommend checking Apple’s 14-day return policy.
Ultimately, does any of this really matter? These are just phone cases. There are bigger problems in the world. But here we are. It’s Monday morning, and you’ve just spent 90 minutes talking about phone cases. Thus is life.
Anyway, have a great week everyone!
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