Apple's $59 case might be Apple's "worst ever" product

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Key notes

  • iPhone 15 Pro Max FineWoven case suffers from peeling, scratches, and discoloration despite its eco-friendly claims and $59 price tag.
  • User reviews echo concerns, calling the case “worst ever” and questioning its durability.

Tech columnist Joanna Stern recently shared her experience with Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max FineWoven case, and it wasn’t a glowing endorsement. After five months of use, Stern reported issues with peeling edges, scratches, and discoloration, despite the case’s $59 price tag and Apple’s claims of “elegant and durable” construction made from recycled materials.

Stern’s review isn’t an isolated incident. Early reviews and user comments on various platforms paint a similar picture, with many criticizing the case’s poor durability and premium cost. Some users on Best Buy even called it the “worst product Apple’s ever made,” others on Amazon expressed their regret over the purchase and vowed never to buy an Apple case again.

On the other hand, Apple maintains that its cases are “engineered at the highest standard” and that the FineWoven case’s microtwill material is designed to offer years of protection. They also provide cleaning instructions for the fabric, suggesting laundry detergent and water. However, Stern’s experience suggests that the case’s durability falls short of expectations even with proper care.

In light of these concerns, Stern has shifted her focus to more affordable alternatives. She recommends a $25 Smartish case and Case-Mate’s Clear Blox case, both of which offer MagSafe compatibility and, in her experience, better value for the price.

A 2022 report by market research firm IDC revealed that the global smartphone case market is expected to reach $43.3 billion by 2026, driven by rising smartphone ownership and increasing consumer demand for protection and personalization.

While Stern’s experience highlights the potential pitfalls of eco-friendly materials in smartphone cases, it’s important to note that sustainability is a growing concern within the tech industry. Several manufacturers, including Samsung and Google, increasingly incorporate recycled materials into their case designs. However, balancing eco-friendliness with durability remains a challenge.

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