Apple's faux leather iPhone 15 cases could feel weird, leak hints

iPhone 13 Pro in leather case
(Image credit: iMore / Apple)

Following recent reports that Apple's iPhone 15 lineup won't have an official leather case to call its own, it now looks like there will at least be a leather-like option for new iPhone buyers. But it could feel odd to those who like their old cases.

With Apple choosing to ditch leather this time around it looks increasingly likely that a faux leather alternative will take its place in Apple Stores around the world. The design of those cases looks like it has leaked online ahead of a likely September release and it comes with a warning for leather fans everywhere.

That warning? Your new iPhone 15 case could feel a bit weird.

It's all about the texture

Images of a case that is thought to be a good example of what Apple has in mind have appeared on X, formerly Twitter after originating on Weibo. The images were shared by leaker Majin Bu and while the case isn't Apple-made, it's said to "be based on the original models" that Apple will sell. We've also been told to expect the new version to "have a different texture" to the leather of previous iPhone cases.

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The new cases are thought to be made from new materials that are more environmentally friendly than previous ones that were made from real leather.

Apple's premium iPhone cases were "made from specially tanned and finished leather," the company's product page says. "The outside feels soft to the touch and develops a natural patina over time." Some people are of the opinion that Apple's leather cases actually look better the older they are as that patina matures, but it isn't clear whether we can expect a similar characteristic from the cases that will replace them.

It also isn't yet clear whether these cases will be available for Apple's best iPhones, although it seems likely. All of the case-related leaks have so far spoken about the iPhone 15, but the iPhone 15 Pro models will also surely have the same cases available come launch day.

That launch day is likely to be September 12, with the new iPhones also set to be joined by the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.