One of my very favourite iPhone accessories is Apple's leather iPhone case. I've been buying them at least since the iPhone X, if not before, and while they're laughably expensive the reason I keep coming back to them is because they're very, very good. So I'm sad to hear that Apple may not be making them any more.
A new rumour suggests that the Apple Leather Case will be no more once the iPhone 15 launches. Although the leaker, DuanRui on Twitter, isn't someone I've heard of, this seems too specific a leak to be somebody making stuff up for clout chasing; if you were going for that you'd be posting that the iPhone 15 had seventeen cameras, a folding display and was powered via a room temperature semiconductor. So I'm inclined to take this one seriously.
The leak is based on sources from Chinese social media, where we've seen Apple information leak before. And the more established leaker ShrimpApplePro and the Mac news site 9to5Mac both say that their sources are telling them the same.
What's happening to the iPhone leather case?
The most likely explanation is that Apple is moving away from real leather, which has a significant environmental footprint as well as the ethical objections to it, to a faux or vegan leather. I'd be interested to see how that pans out, because Apple's non-leather cases aren't brilliant: I've tried its silicone cases in the past and found them to wear out in a fraction of the time, and unlike leather silicone just looks shabby when it gets scratched and worn.
If you'd like to see what Apple might be working on, you might want to take a trip down to your local Land Rover / Range Rover or Mercedes dealership. According to AZO Materials, as quoted by 9to5Mac, many premium cars now use leather-like premium materials: Kvadrat, a wool/polyster blend used in luxury Land Rovers, and Artico, a synthetic vinyl-based leather used in some Mercedes.
My concern here isn't so much how it looks, because even fairly cheap vegan leather can look quite convincing in the right shades. I'm more concerned about how it wears, because like many people I think leather looks best when it's got a bit of life to it and its pristine appearance has become as wrinkled and aged as my face, but hopefully better looking. I think when I go for my iPhone 15 I might go for a cheaper case first until I see how other people's cases are wearing.