According to MacRumors, Apple may be planning to replace its silicone rubber and fluoroelastomer accessories with more eco-friendly next-generation materials. This move is expected to include accessories such as the iPhone Silicone Case with MagSafe, Sport Band, Solo Loop, and AirTag Loop. The rumor comes from a well-known Apple device collector and leaker named “Kosutami,” who has previously shared information about the iPhone 15’s braided USB-C cable, various prototypes such as the MagSafe chargers and AirPods in different color options, and more.
Apple is also widely expected to discontinue its leather iPhone cases following the introduction of the iPhone 15 lineup, replacing them with accessories made with a premium material marketed as “FineWoven.” However, the discontinuation of silicone accessories is not expected to be immediate, but rather a gradual transition in which existing models are not refreshed with new color options. For example, the Sport Band may not be refreshed with new color options following the launch of the Apple Watch Series 9, and will only be available until supplies of the current units run out. Apple is expected to release new accessory designs, such as a “FineWoven” Apple Watch band with a magnetic buckle, to replace its outgoing products.
The discontinuation of all leather and silicone Apple accessories is believed to be part of a wider move to transition to more environmentally friendly materials. While Apple’s silicone rubber accessories have a lower carbon footprint than their leather counterparts, they still have a significant environmental impact due to their production processes and the materials used. By shifting towards next-generation materials like “FineWoven,” Apple aims to reduce its environmental footprint further.
“FineWoven” is expected to be a premium material designed not only for aesthetics but also for sustainability. It is likely that Apple will promote the use of recycled or sustainable materials in the manufacturing of these accessories, aligning with its commitment to environmental responsibility.
This move by Apple to prioritize eco-friendly materials in its accessories aligns with its broader environmental initiatives. The company has been actively working to reduce its carbon footprint and has set ambitious goals to become carbon neutral across its entire supply chain and product life cycle. Transitioning away from traditional materials like silicone rubber and leather in favor of more sustainable options is a significant step in achieving these sustainability goals.
As consumers become increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of the products they purchase, Apple’s commitment to eco-friendly accessories may also resonate positively with its customer base. By offering stylish and sustainable accessories, Apple not only contributes to reducing waste but also sets an example for other tech companies to follow suit in their pursuit of a more sustainable future.