Apple iPhone silicone case: How well does it hold up after four months?

If you’d asked me a little over a year ago, I might have told you that Apple’s silicone iPhone cases were among the worst products on its shelves. Friends who’d bought them for the iPhone 6 and before told me horror stories of the silicone peeling as though it had a tragic skin condition, or how it retained grease as enthusiastically as a Waffle House napkin. Occasionally I even saw the evidence myself.

In June, though, I picked one one of the newer versions in a bar on a friend’s iPhone X. I immediately wanted to take it home. So grippy! So slim! My own popular third-party case felt like a brick by comparison.

As the iPhone refresh that culminated in the XS was still a few months away, I resolved to make it my primary case for my iPhone 8 Plus. I’d subject it to the little hells of my everyday life and report back with the results. It’s a branded Apple product, after all, and as such it deserves Macworld’s full attention.

And now here we are. The honeymoon should be over, but I’m still in love. I’ve even bought another one for my new iPhone XS Max. Whatever garbage Apple’s silicone cases may have been in the past, the new ones are worthy of the logo they bear on their backs.

Slim pickings

I was first drawn to the iPhone silicone case for its slim yet sturdy profile, and that’s what continues to attract me today. It allows the phone to slip into my pocket almost as effortlessly as if it were naked, but with just enough protection to diminish any fears I may have about accidentally dropping it in the act.

apple iphone xs max silicone case product redLeif Johnson/IDG

The case also has a “micro velour” interior that keeps your iPhone even safer from scratches.

Plenty of third-party companies make thin cases, but few others do such a good job. So snugly does the case cling to the hardware, in fact, that it almost feels as much a part of the device as the old plastic casing for the iPhone 5c.

The buttons align perfectly. The case wraps around the iPhone XS Max camera with barely a hair’s width to spare. In fact, I could see how someone could think it fits so well that it’s little tight, but then I’m not sure why you’d take off the case that often anyway.

apple iphone xs max silicone caseLeif Johnson/IDG

See what I mean? If you look closely, you can see a nick, too.

It’d be even thinner if it weren’t for the gentle lip around the edge, which protrudes just far enough to keep the $329 OLED display from kissing the pavement in a tumble. Other cases achieve greater thinness by ditching the lip, but its presence here is a welcome reminder that Apple keeps the well-being of our wallets in mind more than we sometimes give it credit for.