Apple's iPhone 15 announcement event might have seen the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 unveiled alongside those new iPhones, but one of the more interesting announcements was the switch away from leather accessories. The replacement, something Apple is calling FineWoven, is a new material that has replaced leather across Apple's lineup.
That doesn't mean that there are just new FineWoven iPhone cases, of course. There are now FineWoven Apple Watch bands and MagSafe Wallets, too. And some of the new iPhone cases have started to arrive in the hands of prospective iPhone 15 owners. And the early reception has been a mixed one, with some surprises along the way.
The biggest surprise is perhaps the fact that FineWoven cases appear to have some sort of faux leather material around the outside, something we hadn't realized until just now. That makes for a dual-material finish that, frankly, appears cheap. It's an odd decision, and we'd love to know why Apple made it.
As for the FineWoven material itself, Apple says that it's made from durable microtwill, a material we're told is soft with a suede-like feel. We'll have to get our hands on one to know whether that's accurate. Apple also says that it's made from 68% post-consumer recycled content, whatever that actually means.
It's important to remember that while Apple isn't making any more leather cases of its own, third-party companies will continue to produce their own which means leather fans can continue to buy them. That could be an excellent option if we find that these new FineWoven accessories don't pass muster, but it's clear that Apple is going all-in on them regardless. Apple made a big deal about ensuring that it reduces the carbon footprint of its products and the removal of leather from its lineup is one way it's doing that.
As for the new iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, they're all going to become available for preorder starting Friday, September 15. They'll then go on sale on September 22 alongside the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. That's also when the new USB-C AirPods Pro 2 will go on sale, too.
For many, September 22 will be the first time that they get to take FineWoven products for a spin so it will be interesting to see how they get on with them when they're in Apple Stores picking up their new products.