Rumor: Apple to discontinue silicone accessories, including iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands

We are less than 48 hours away from Apple’s “Wonderlust” event, where it will announce the all-new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. A new last-minute rumor today suggests that, in addition to retiring its lineup of leather cases this year, Apple might also start gradually discontinuing its silicone accessories.

Today’s rumor comes via MacRumors, citing an anonymous source. The report explains that the transition away from silicone “is not expected to be imminent, instead taking place via a more gradual transition whereby existing models are not refreshed with new color options.”

Similar to its transition away from leather, the move from silicone would be for environmental and sustainability reasons. Today’s story says that silicone accessories would be replaced with “more eco-friendly next-generation materials.”

Apple sells a wide collection of accessories made out of silicone rubber and fluoroelastomer materials. This includes iPhone cases, Apple Watch bands, AirTag accessories, and more.

The move away from rubber and fluoroelastomer would arguably be a bigger undertaking than the planned move away from leather. These materials are what are used in the most popular and most affordable Apple Watch bands. This is likely why today’s report says it will be a more gradual than the switch from leather.

Starting with the iPhone 15 lineup this year, Apple is widely expected to use a new material referred to as “FineWoven” for premium iPhone cases. These cases have been described as using an “imitation leather” material, with some supply chain sources referring to them as “Magsafe environmental protection cloth leather cases.”

There have also been rumors of a new Apple Watch band style this year. The source suggests that this band will feature a magnetic clasp design and be made out of the same woven material as the FineWoven cases for the iPhone 15. The new band will reportedly be priced at $99, matching the price of the Braided Solo Loop and coming in at $50 cheaper than Apple’s Modern Buckle band

The iPhone 15 Apple event kicks off at 10 a.m. PT on Tuesday, September 12. Stay tuned to 9to5Mac for all the announcements. Learn more about everything Apple will announce during its “Wonderlust” event in our complete guide. You can also find full iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro details in our dedicated guides. 

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