“The new FineWoven iPhone cases are very bad,” according to my colleague Allison Johnson, so you probably shouldn’t buy one. Still, I’ve been curious to learn more about them, and iFixit’s new teardown just gave me even more information than I could have thought to ask for: it put one of the new cases under a microscope, tested how it stood up to things like hot sauce and coffee, and tore the thing apart — and, best of all, photographed every step of the way.
There are some incredible zoomed-in photos of the fabric, for example; that black thing in a post from iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens is a human hair included for scale! Another photo shows how the fibers are affected when cut by a knife — it’s not pretty.
iFixit also put the new cases to the stain test. A drop of coffee evaporated “without leaving much of a trace.” A greasy thumb left a stain, even after iFixit applied some detergent to the spot. Hot sauce left a mark, and yes, iFixit looked at it under the microscope. (It’s disgusting.)
As for the actual case teardown, iFixit chopped the case in half and ripped it open. There are multiple layers, which iFixit outlines as such: “FineWoven fabric, gray foam, rigid plastic sheet, MagSafe hardware/white foam, another rigid plastic sheet, and finally, an inner layer of FineWoven fabric.” iFixit also found that the side rails have a “FineWoven weave” that is more durable than the fabric on the back.
Seriously, just go look at all the pictures in iFixit’s article — they’re awesome. Based on iFixit’s examination and Allison’s article, it doesn’t seem like Apple’s new FineWoven cases will weather all that well over time. (If only that taupe color wasn’t so nice...)