Apple’s FineWoven iPhone 15 cases are so controversial Amazon has had to add a warning

iPhone 15 Pro in a FineWoven case
(Image credit: Future)

Apple has faced a lot of criticism over the FineWoven cases that it launched alongside the iPhone 15. From the very beginning Apple’s new leather-alternative gained a reputation for being easy to scratch and generally not fulfilling the “premium” description you’d expect from a $59 case. To the point where Amazon has now added a disclaimer to FineWoven cases.

If you head over to Amazon and look at FineWoven cases for iPhone 15, you may see a yellow warning box underneath the description. One that states this is a “frequently returned item” and encourages users to check customer reviews for more information.

iphone 15 finewoven cases disclaimer on Amazon, nothing that it is a 'frequently returned item'

(Image credit: Amazon)

Checking out the reviews further down, Amazon highlights that there are three things customers often note; how comfortable the device is, mixed comments about appearance and the fact that the FineWoven cases scratch easily.

The general review score is 3.6, and while 49% of those are 5-star reviews, 22% are 1-star. Those poor reviews seem to be noting how users dislike the texture, poor build quality and the case’s ability to pick up scratches like a magnet picks up metal.

Amazon's AI-generated customer sentiment that notes "Customers like the comfort of the phone case. They say the material feels nice, and the finish is smooth to the touch. The MagSafe is flawless, and is hard but pretty thin. That said, some complain about the scratching. Customers also differ on opinions about the appearance."

(Image credit: Amazon)

9to5Mac claims that some third party iPhone 15 cases have the opposite label, noting that customers “usually keep this item.” We went and checked the best iPhone 15 cases for ourselves and didn’t see this happen, so we’ll just have to take 9to5Mac’s word for that.

The FineWoven material is Apple’s sustainable alternative to leather accessories seen on previous products. While those leather cases can still be found at third-party retailers, Apple seems to have pulled them all from its online store. Searching for “leather” also had FineWoven accessories at the top of the search results, so it’s clear Apple is taking this seriously.

Apple can be lauded for its commitment to using more sustainable products, with FineWoven material being made up of 68% “post-consumer recycled content.” But it definitely seems to have dropped the ball with the quality of FineWoven accessories.

Tom’s Guide UK Editor in Chief Jeff Parsons tested an iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven case for himself last year. After a week it had picked up multiple scratches, scuffs and other marks from his daily use — which mostly involved swapping the phone between his pocket and desk.

This was to the point where Jeff wondered how the case would look after several years of use or after an accidental drop. Though it’s worth noting that he also really liked the FineWoven case's design, including how perfectly it fits the iPhone 15 Pro’s design and offers tactile feedback from the Action button.

Whether you pull the plug and pick up a FineWoven case for the iPhone 15 is entirely up to you. Plenty of people seem to like them, but there are large groups of people who really don’t — and Amazon has had to put up warnings to this effect. If you have any doubts, be sure to check out our list of the best iPhone 15 cases.

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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.