Going caseless? Your new iPhone might change color

iPhone 15 Pro Max
(Image credit: Apple)

Looking to pick up an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max this year? Looks like that lovely new titanium coating might not be quite as premium as we first thought — Apple itself has put out a support post that claims your iPhone might change color, and it's all down to your fingerprints.

In a Support post, Apple says ‘For iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, the oil from your skin might temporarily alter the color of the outside band. Wiping your iPhone with a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth will restore the original look.’

It all stems from the new titanium frame of the Pro models of the iPhone, and the kind of finish that Apple has applied. At this point, Apple should be used to using titanium — after all, it's already been in the Apple Watch Ultra, and the now vintage PowerBook G4, neither of which changed color with your fingerprints.

If you find your iPhone more discolored than anticipated, you can use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, a 75% ethyl alcohol wipe, or a Clorox disinfecting wipe to clean your iPhone — but try not to use any other disinfectant on your iPhone as you could damage it. Anything containing bleach or hydrogen peroxide will cause problems, regardless of which iPhone you have. 

A small problem - iMore’s take

Though this is something to watch out for if you’re planning on getting an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, the discoloration is, thankfully, temporary. As long as you can get your hands on a cloth, it will look good as new in a few wipes. As the new material seems to be a fingerprint magnet, you will want to regularly wipe it anyway.

Of course, if you go with a case then this is likely not going to be any kind of concern to you — and you’ll protect your iPhone from drops and scrapes. If you do, make sure you check out some of the best cases for iPhone 15 Pro. Make sure you look at the FineWoven Apple cases first, though — preliminary reports aren’t massively positive for Apple’s new environmentally friendly option.

Ultimately, a lot of people will find that the more durable and light material is worth that temporary discoloration. It is, however, a massive disappointment for something that costs $1000 and in some cases even more. iPhones are premium products, and you’d hope that they don’t need a wipe every time you use them, or for you to wear white gloves every time you pull them out of your pocket to protect the new material.

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.