Apple's FineWoven case and Apple Watch band lineup may have been cut short

Looks like Apple may be getting ready to discontinue FineWoven, if the rumor is correct Apple FineWoven rumor: cancelled

Shocking no one. Even though I think the reaction to it was grossly overblown, I probably wouldn’t buy it again. It doesn’t feel as great as leather case and it it doesn’t wear as well (although judging from what I see in public, most cases don’t).

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It’s been Apple’s worst received product line in a very long time. And the pricing always seemed ridiculous for fake suede plastic accessories, especially the watch bands at $100 USD or $150 if you want a buckle.


Was it though? Podcasters all hated it without really trying it. Those who ordered it just sent it back, but I think the podcaster community and it’s followers suffer greatly from groupthink. Varying opinions are rare, they all have the exact same takes on almost everything. They told us it was bad, and we all just went along with it. What did the general public think? Although I would guess they didn’t buy it because they tend to buy the cheapest or prettiest cases they can, and FineWoven was neither of those.

As I recall, the hands-on reviews were overwhelmingly negative, too.

What did the general public think? Although I would guess they didn’t buy it because they tend to buy the cheapest or prettiest cases they can, and FineWoven was neither of those.

It’s a very poor value. Much better cases are available for the same or less money.

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Reviews were after a week or so of using the case and saying it scratched easily and it didn’t feel that nice (it feels like suede almost). You can scratch it, but it’s not that easy (I tried when I got it). You can also scratch a leather case with a fingernail, it just sort of wears smooth eventually. Mine has been in use for over 6 months now, no scratches, no tears, etc. It is worn, where it takes on a shiny look, but it still protects the phone fine and it doesn’t look that bad.

I am not saying it’s a great case or that they should keep making it (Apple should do better). I am saying it’s just not as bad as all the hot takes were that first week. Joanna Stern did do an update, but my experience with it was nothing like hers.

It definitely is overpriced, but most things Apple makes are.

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I will always opt for genuine leather whenever possible–cases, bags, belts, gloves, coats, shoes, and more. Leather is beautiful, long-lasting, and has character.

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I have as well in the past, but I think Apple is right to move away from it for environmental purposes. I made a conscience decision to cut back on animal based products for environmental, animal cruelty, and health reasons. I haven’t cut out those products, but I am actively looking for alternatives.


I absolutely agree with prudent fact-based, and balanced approaches to protecting the environment. And, it should go without saying that there should never be a place for cruelty. That said, my worldview ethically accommodates the use of leather and meat-eating while simultaneously being a good steward of the environment and always opposing cruelty in any form. I’ll leave it at that, as I don’t wish to sidetract this thread into topics not appropriate for this forum. :blush:


I’ve cut back on it, too, though not 100%. Dress shoes are the hardest thing to replace.

I’m not a fan of “vegan leather”. It doesn’t age gracefully, and I’d rather use a material that’s not trying to pretend it’s something other than what it is.


I also think with the more durable titanium, there is less of a need for iPhone cases in general.

I don’t have a titanium phone. But I use a minimum case on my iPhone to give it a better grip, and to prevent the camera lens from touching a surface.

Many years ago I bought a pair of, then futuristic, faux-leather, plastic shoes. They did great. They had a permanent shine, so easy care. However the first time I went out in sub-freezing weather they cracked! So it’s been real leather ever since. Also there is a “leather” made from gluing together small pieces. Probably good for the environment since they use otherwise worthless scraps, but they also quickly fall apart. Sadly, it seems like 90% of all belts and wallets are made of this stuff.

My finewoven case might be the worst Apple product I have ever purchased. Luckily it is just a case, but I have no idea how this got past basic quality checks.

Towards the beginning of this article there are some helpful statistics about lifespan environmental impacts of various materials, taken from studies that aren’t accessible enough to share here. You can read the rest if you’d like, but those arguments aren’t why I’m sharing the link.

Leather’s sustainability is hit or miss. Without getting into animal welfare, the whole point of tanning is to extend the lifespan of leather products. The current industry is linear, rather than circular, and many exhausted leather products end up in landfill environments that hinder decomposition.

I stopped buying leather quite a few years ago, but I won’t argue that it’s not the superior textile for things that can or need to last. I’m still using the same leather wallet I bought back in 2013 and don’t expect I’ll think about replacing it for another ten years, if not more. Every once in a while I reconsider making an exception for a good pair of leather boots, but I’m very hard on footwear and don’t know if I could get as much life out of them as I would like.

Here’s a leather chemist’s perspective:

Leather is wonderful because it lasts a long time. This means articles made from it can usually be repaired and many last for generations. The Coach brief case I will carry my papers to APLF in was bought in 1987 and has worn really well. I expect my grandchildren to be using it. It has not yet needed repairing at all. My two pairs of Church’s shoes have both been resoled a few times and still polish up very well.

So when we think about leather consider first longevity, then consider end of life. If a leather seat is really finished then more often than not the leather can be taken and made into smaller articles, which is what some U.S. Airlines did last year. In other instances leather can be ground up and used for areas like insoles or other materials. (As long as we define them correctly and do not call them leather).

To make leather efficiently biodegradable via reversible tannages and the like will involve some new developments but dropping leather items into landfill to biodegrade is one of the last things we should plan for. Leather is better than that.

Can leather be considered a sustainable material for protecting phones that rarely last us more than 3-4 years? Frankly, no. Nobody’s going to be using Grandpa’s iPhone Case in 2075.

But this whole issue also speaks to broader problems in consumer tech: Glass rectangle form-factors have been consistent since at least the iPhone 4, but screen sizes refuse to stop growing. If phone sizing settled down, and Apple and other manufacturers weren’t constantly shaving a millimetre here and adding one there, we might be able to get off the parallel treadmill of replacing accessories that no longer fit. The case for leather (pardon the pun) would be a lot more compelling if we could expect to get 15-20 years of use from a single case and actually reap the unique benefits of the material.


Which is why my iPhone is in a cheap plastic (and non-Apple brand) case. On the other hand, the case I bought for my 15" MacBookPro in 2011 works fine for my newer 16" MacBookPro, so that’s 13 years so far.

That’s why I like this reviewer.

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MobileReviewsEh is great, all killer no filler.

Except, that was not a review, it was a first impressions of the feel of it. He didn’t use it with the phone. He just bought it and tore it up.

I have had the case since day one. It has gone on runs, numerous bike rides, sat on dirty tables at coffee places, etc. I also have cats. It doesn’t attract cat hair at all. I have no tears, which his misleading “review” implied. I can run my fingernail across it and it will “scratch” but that will disappear in a week or so. I have some scratches on it, but I don’t notice them because they are really faint. It also does not feel at all soft, so I am not sure why he said it does. Maybe it did when it was new but I forgot?

After 6 months the biggest thing is that where the wallet sits, it is kind of grey/shinny. It doesn’t look great, but it’s…fine.

I will give him, it doesn’t feel like an expensive case, which is why everyone returned it on day one if they even bought one. Also, others have reported it falling apart, but in my long term review, it it holding up fine.

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