Earlier this month, rumors suggested that Apple plans to eliminate leather cases for the iPhone 15 lineup, and subsequent information pointed toward the possibility of a leather alternative with a woven fabric look.
Leaker DuanRui, who has been sharing many of the rumors about the cases, today suggested that Apple plans to call its new leather alternative “FineWoven.” If this is accurate, Apple would presumably sell silicone cases and the new “FineWoven” case.
DuanRui shared case images with the “FineWoven” name, but warned that this could be a “counterfeit product.” A close look at the packaging that he shared confirms that the case images appear to be photoshopped and not real, but he further clarified that the cases are meant to be a mockup and are based on the new Apple official case.
I had seen something like this clones too, but I’m not sure about the colors yet, I’m waiting to receive more details about it
— Majin Bu (@MajinBuOfficial) August 30, 2023
“FineWoven” is something of a mouthful, so it is not clear if the naming is accurate. Apple has used the woven descriptor in the past for Apple Watch bands, though, so something with woven is not out of the question. Case images leaked earlier this week do appear to have a woven fabric texture that’s perhaps not too far off from suede.
While it continues to be unclear if this “FineWoven” material is what we’ll actually see on September 12, what seems to be certain is that leather is being eliminated. In addition to multiple reports from leakers who often share accurate information about Apple’s plans, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman today confirmed that Apple is using “new materials” to replace leather.
Apple has been offering leather cases since the launch of the 2013 iPhone 5s, with the leather option sold alongside silicone cases. With Apple’s focus on improving its carbon footprint, it makes some sense that the company would eliminate leather.
A leather alternative that is fabric-based would have a smaller carbon footprint than a case made from traditional cowhide, and it would be more environmentally friendly. Leather alternatives have been growing in popularity over the last several years, and there are now many high-quality plant-based options that companies have adopted.