iPhone 15 and Apple Watch 9 may come without any silicone accessories — here’s why

iPhone 15 Pro render showing cameras and display
(Image credit: Technizo)

Apple may be getting ready for an accessories shake-up according to a brand new report. On top of rumors that Apple may not offer a leather iPhone 15 case, it sounds like the company could also start ditching all of its silicone accessories as well. 

This report comes from MacRumors, which claims to have information from a leaker known as Kosutami. It’s believed that Apple will discontinue accessories made from silicone rubber and fluoroelastomer. Apple apparently intends to replace these materials with more eco-friendly options, though it isn’t entirely clear what those materials might be right now. 

According to MacRumors, this change will affect the iPhone Silicone Case with MagSafe, Apple Watch Sport Band and Solo Loop as well as the AirTag Loop.

As MacRumors points out, silicone material isn’t what you’d call recycling friendly. Silicone products don’t have as much of a carbon footprint as some alternatives, like leather, but they also can’t be recycled very easily — nor do they feature any previously-recycled materials. When it comes to eco-conscious manufacturing the more recycling that’s involved at every level of the process, the better. 

The transition between materials isn’t expected to be very sudden, and will apparently be more of a gradual change. So rather than pulling all silicone products from sale, Apple is reportedly just not releasing additional color options for new devices. Then supplies of existing accessories will be allowed to run out.

There will no doubt be new accessories that launch alongside the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9, we just don’t know much about what they could involve. We have heard rumors of a new “FineWoven” Apple Watch band that comes packing a magnetic buckle, which will be at least one of the replacements for the outgoing silicone options.

FineWoven is expected to replace leather for the immediate future, though MacRumors speculates that it could also end up usurping the role of silicone accessories as well. While we wait for other eco-friendly Apple materials to materialize.

We can expect to hear more about this during the iPhone 15 event, which takes place on September 12 at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT). In the meantime you can read all about the products we expect to see in our Apple September event page, or you can read up on the latest news and rumors in our iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9 hubs.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.