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Amazon's warning label on Apple's FineWoven accessories cautions 'frequently returned'
Amazon’s warning label on Apple’s FineWoven accessories cautions ‘frequently returned’

Apple’s virtue-signaling FineWoven accessories are such junk that Amazon was compelled to add a warning label to them cautioning would-be buyers that they are “frequently returned.”

Chance Miller for 9to5Mac:

The warning label appears on product listings for all of Apple’s FineWoven cases for iPhone 15. The Amazon listings for FineWoven MagSafe Wallets are unscathed, at least of right now.

The label says: “Frequently returned item: Check the product details and customer reviews to learn more about this item.”

Another interesting data point: prices for “used” FineWoven cases on Amazon have plummeted over the last several months. I can’t say that’s surprising…

MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook’s Apple is having one heck of a week so far.

As we just wrote yesterday: Steve Jobs famously said in 2007 of Apple, “There’s some stuff in our industry that we wouldn’t be proud to ship. That we wouldn’t be proud to recommend to our family and friends. And we can’t do it. We just can’t ship junk.” Tim Cook was sitting there next to Jobs, but obviously didn’t hear him.

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Cut to today’s virtue-signaling Apple, where it seems very likely that Tim Cook’s ear got bent by some global warming charlatan…

Al Gore
Al Gore

…who told him how bad-badBAD! he was for shipping leather cases that last for YEARS and should instead replace them with junky cases that last for months. Customers rapidly replacing Apple’s junk, of course, causes much more environmental damage than leather, a byproduct of the cattle farming industry that is simply wasted when big companies like Apple are lead by the easily duped who immediately bend a knee to the perpetually aggrieved / con men, instead of simply running the business properly.

Or maybe this was a masterstroke by Tim Cook’s Apple to sell a new iPhone case to users every 5 months? But, there’s a flaw in that logic as most customers are of the fool-me-once persuasion, would never buy another piece of overpriced junk from Apple, and would instead purchase a real long-lasting leather case from a smart third-party case maker.

Apple’s “FineWoven” cases are woven alright, but they’re certainly not fine.

Photo illustration: Rachel Mendelson, Joanna Stern / The Wall Street Journal
Photo illustration: Rachel Mendelson, Joanna Stern / The Wall Street Journal

Joanna Stern for The Wall Street Journal:

There it is, everyone. My iPhone 15 Pro Max’s FineWoven case after five months of use. The edges are peeling, the fabric is scratched up like an old CD and it’s browning like a rotten banana. I’ve been waiting for the CDC to show up at my house to declare it a biomedical concern.

Some of you will say: “JOANNA! How gross are you?” Others—those who bought this case for $59 when it came out in September—will likely say: “Yep. Same issues here.”

Apple made a big eco-friendly deal about the FineWoven case when it was announced alongside the iPhone 15 models in the fall. Replacing the company’s leather cases, Apple said this FineWoven material was “an elegant and durable new textile” and that it was made from 68% “post-consumer recycled content.” Admirable. Except nothing has been fine about the FineWoven case.

Early on, tech news sites like The Verge complained about scratches in the fabric. At online retailers, the people who gave the case one or two stars all point out the same issues—peeling edges, scratches, proclivity to get dirty. On Best Buy, many say they’ll never buy an Apple case again and that it’s the worst product Apple’s ever made. Same on Amazon.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s FineWoven junk does not reduce impact on the planet, it increases impact on the planet. As usual, we correctly predicted that eschewing leather for cheap crap was a bad idea from day one.

As we wrote back in September:

There is no leather farming industry. (Cattle hides typically represent less than 2% of the total value of a U.S. beef animal.) Beef farming will continue regardless of demand for leather. In the U.S. alone, there are some 33 million cattle hides left over from cattle farming every year. Left over cattle hides not recycled for leather instead go to landfill or are otherwise destroyed as waste. Ending the use of leather use would significantly increase landfill and greenhouse gas emissions. The burning or disposal in U.S. landfills of 33 million unused hides would generate more than 750,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions every year – and fill all current U.S. landfill sites within four years. Globally, some 300 million hides would be wasted with 6.6 million tons of surplus emissions every year.

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

[I]t hasn’t been the smoothest transition. Apple’s alternative to leather — the material it calls FineWoven — has been a dud.

FineWoven cases feel odd to the touch, scratch easily and are quick to get dirty. Some third-party retailers have dropped them altogether, and even Apple told its staffers to frequently swap out display units (so they don’t look scuffed up)…

[T]he company completely stumbled with its leather replacement and should start over. Despite the shoddiness of the product, Apple can smile knowing FineWoven cases probably bring higher margins than the leather versions they replaced (the company didn’t reduce the price from $59).

MacDailyNews Take: If we used iPhone cases (we don’t), they would be leather. We’d simply switch from Apple to a quality third-party case make who still offers real leather.

From Apple’s FineWoven iPhone cases are trash (September 25, 2023):

If you’re going to hide your new iPhone in a case in order to try to get $20-$40 extra by minimizing scratches for trade-in or resale, get a real leather case from a third-party maker.

We recommend Belemay cases, which use real leather at affordable price, if you want to use a nice leather case for your iPhone. We also hear good things about Zoof Top Litchi Grain Leather iPhone cases.

A lesson Apple seems to have missed in this, er, case: If it ain’t broke, don’t “fix” it… [S]omeone should ask CEO Tim Cook how much this “FineWoven” virtue-signaling debacle cost the company in iPhone accessory sales vs. previous years when the company sold real leather cases.MacDailyNews, September 25, 2023

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