Apple has canceled the leather cases of the MacBooks. They were called “MacBook Leather Sleeve”, leather cases for MacBook. The leather is Italian leather and we can certainly say that it was a product designed by the staff closest to Jony Ive, the former designer of many Apple products, for the type of materials used and for the essentiality. And for the cost.
For a few days, however, the Sleeves in the various sizes have been silently withdrawn from the Apple website and are no longer found even in the Apple Stores, unless there are inventories (as well as in Apple Premium Resellers). In short, one of the most unique and elitist accessories ever made by Apple has reached the end of its run.
History of a product
When they were introduced, the MacBook Leather Sleeves (this is the full name) were in fact one of the most exclusive products that complemented buyers of a new MacBook with a 12-inch screen. The ultra-small Apple, which had taken the place of the MacBook Air 11, also had an exclusive Italian leather cover available in three colors (the most beautiful, however, was blue) which also had a rather high price: 99 euros. They were clearly inspired by iPhone leather covers, a more expensive and “genuine” alternative to silicone ones, but also more expensive.
The Sleeves are made from two sheets of leather sewn together by matching the upper and lower edges: a type of solid seam that also creates a narrowness of the internal space with the purchase, however, of some protection. The open side allows the insertion of the MacBook and has an internal microfiber lining to prevent scratches. No metal parts, like the best tradition of this type of product, and two subtleties: four folded spaces to accommodate the computer feet and a single “direction” to insert it, so that the cut on the side could allow you to insert a Usb-C cable in the only data port and recharging the computer in order to continue charging it.
A contained success
To put it mildly, neither the computer in question nor the case have had a rousing success. The MacBook due to the “slow” processor and the almost unusable keyboard (especially in the first generation), the Sleeve due to an out-of-market price and a not very continuous quality between the pieces. In fact, in some specimens the riveted leather appeared to be very “aged” and in any case the product showed signs of use after a few days.
Despite this, Apple in the following years has produced versions for the traditional MacBook Air, for MacBook Pro 14 and 16. In the latter two cases, creating sleeves of truly generous dimensions: rather large “bustone” leather and devoid of that for example. edge protection effect given by the relative large size of the seams compared to the size and weight of the 12-inch MacBook. On the MacBook Pro 16, the seams practically disappeared compared to the weight of the computer.
The product itself had another problem. Positioned as a premium choice to not take out the thriving third-party cover market, it has always had a rather high price tag and very low mechanical protection. In short, a cover looking for a buyer, more than the other way around.
The hidden problem
However, there is another reason why Apple has perhaps decided to take out the leather cover. And it is that it is made of leather. In the sense that to make this protection of genuine Italian leather (indeed, Tuscan to be more precise) it is necessary to “kill” some cows. In short, it is not a vegan product.
And even if the environmental impact of this type of activity cannot be calculated for the production of a product, it is certain that from an ethical point of view the Sleeves are more of a problem than an opportunity. And indeed, perhaps they have not particularly attracted the attention of environmentalists and people attentive to the consumption of materials not so much for its indefensible identity from this point of view, but for its very small success that has made it a niche product. and decidedly little known.
That Apple was about to abandon it was perhaps also intuitive from another fact: the company has not made covers of this type for the new MacBook Pro 14 and 16, which have a shape that cannot be used with computer protections. previous. And even the new MacBook Air M2 no longer has a shape that is compatible with a cover of the MacBook Air M1 or Macbook Pro 13 generation.
A finished product or a new product on the way?
We don’t know what Apple wants to do, of course. Neither from the point of view of the possible successor of the MacBook Leather Sleeve nor from the point of view of the iPhone cases which are instead a mass product that generates a substantial turnover.
However, there is one last possible reflection: as happened with former leather products now transformed into vegan products, such as wallets, bags and so on, perhaps a solution could be devised by Apple.
And a Sleeve that is made a thread better with adequate functionality (the notch present in the version of the MacBook 12, for example, was not present in that of the MacBook Pro 13) and materials that are pleasant to the touch and at the same time protective for a computer “Light” might make sense. Indeed, it cannot be excluded that Apple is not thinking about it and that it cannot land in its online and offline stores at some point. For now, there is no news, however.