peeling iPhone case

Apple Doesn’t Honor Their Warranty on iPhone Cases

You know I’m a huge believer in AppleCare and that it has saved me more times than I can count. Who can forget the five 12.9″ iPad Pros and four keyboards Apple replaced for me? In all cases, I haven’t had to pitch any kind of fit to get them to honor the warranty when it was obvious that the devices weren’t working properly. No stomping of my tiny little foot was required.

But recently I did have a problem with Apple. I bought the silicone case for my iPhone XS last year when the phones first came out. It’s a lovely salmon color and the feel of it was so soft and lovely and yet had just enough friction that the phone would never slip out of my hand.

After about six months though, the case started to feel sticky. I didn’t remember eating pancakes with syrup around it, but just in case I carefully washed it with mild soap and water and let it dry out, and yet it still felt sticky.

The good news is that Apple has a one-year warranty on their iPhone cases. I took it in to the local Apple Store and asked for a replacement. I was told I had to have a Genius Bar appointment to get it replaced, but that they could slip me into the schedule in just a few minutes. The Genius verified with his own hands that it was sticky but that he didn’t think that counted as a reason to replace it. I asked for a manager. She held the phone in the case and denied that it was sticky. I used everything in my power to convince her that it was but she was having none of it. She said if it was actually peeling apart, I could get it replaced but not for my imaginary stickiness.

Angrily I went home and started searching for a similar replacement. But I wasn’t able to find anything I liked that was as thin as the Apple case and still had enough of a ledge above the glass to provide a bit of protection for a fall. I guess I was going to have to live with my sticky phone.

Iphone case peeling
Apple iPhone Case Peeling Apart

Fast forward a few more months and the Apple case has started to completely fall apart. It has cracked in the upper two corners, and the bottom right and left sides are peeling apart. Well, I guess now the manager can’t deny me, right?

Back to the Apple Store where again I’m told that I have to have a Genius look at it, but they’d be with me in about 5-10 minutes. 30 minutes later Warren comes to talk to me. He is not “my little friend Warren.” Warren looks at the phone case and then starts to figure out how to do a warranty return.

On the inside of Apple cases, there’s a serial number printed, but it’s very tiny and on that felt sort of fabric so it’s pretty close to impossible to read. He tries a bunch of combos and keeps pulling the case close up to try to read it better but can’t get the system to recognize the number. I held out my phone with the accessibility feature called Magnify turned on and he looks at me and says in the snottiest voice you can imagine, “Your technology won’t work for this. It does NOT work that way. You don’t understand how it works.”

Excuse me? My technology??? I decided to take a picture anyway and make some suggestions – maybe it’s a T not a 7, etc. This doesn’t get us anywhere.

At some point, he decides he can bypass this step and he tells me that he can order me a new case. I explain that I’m not willing to wait for a new case, especially since I don’t believe he can still get the color I had as Apple changes the colors all the time. I tell him that I would like to take one of the equivalent cases they’re selling right there in the store. He says no. By this time I’ve been in the store for a full 45 minutes with no new case in sight. “Maybe I speak to a supervisor please?”

Warren takes me to a supervisor who is clearly just starting a conversation with a customer. They’re just beginning to take his iPad out of a box and clearly, this is going to take a while. After a few moments, I asked Warren if there isn’t another supervisor available. Warren, again in the most aggravating tone of voice I could imagine says, “THIS is the supervisor we’re going to talk to.” I told him that was not the question I asked, and he should probably not try to push my buttons right now. He said if I talked to him like that again he was going to report me. Good grief.

I wish I’d gotten the managers name who came into the story next. Let’s call him Bossman. I explained quite calmly what the issue was. Bossman looks at the case and tells me that it is not covered under warranty because the corners are cracked! I’m sure you can just imagine how this comment went over to me. I believe I said something along the lines of, “Yes, that’s why I need it replaced. It cracked in normal usage. I take the phone out of the case from time to time. That’s normal usage! Also, look at how the bottom is peeling off.”

Iphone case tiny dent cracks
Tiny Dent Next to Crack in Apple iPhone Case

Bossman was insistent that it wasn’t covered. At this point, the annoying Warren asks to see the case again, peers closely and points to an itsy bitsy little dent on the top corner and says, “Clearly you dropped it and it’s not covered.”

This was after a full hour of working with these people. Let’s be clear, this is a $39 case. I have taken up two people’s time during much of this. And remember this is the second time I’ve done this. How much do you think it cost Apple to not replace my iPhone case under warranty?

I left the store and began my search again for a similar case, and this time I found it. I bought the TORRAS Love Series case on Amazon for $14. It looks exactly like the Apple case, without the logo and feels just as lovely as the Apple case did when it was new. It is not sticky and the edges aren’t peeling off and the corners are not cracked. It’s altogether possible that this case will get sticky and crack but I will simply buy another one and still have saved money over buying another Apple case.

I’ll give one caveat on the TORRAS case. I bought the Midnight Blue the first time which on Amazon looks to be a dark purple. However, it’s more of a very dark slate grayish-blue. I didn’t favor that color at all because it wasn’t distinguishable enough from Steve’s black case. I showed Steve and he said he’d love to have it because guess what? His Apple case is getting sticky!

TORRAS midnight blue iphone XS case
TORRAS “midnight blue” case doesn’t match the ad
TORRAS red iphone XS case
TORRAS “red” case does match the ad


Since Steve loved the slate blue case, I bought the red TORRAS case which was a bit more expensive at $18 and it is just as gorgeous of a candy apple red as it looks online. I love this case!

My advice to you is to stay as far away from Apple’s silicone iPhone cases unless you’re willing to buy them a couple of times a year. Don’t expect Apple to honor their own one-year warranty. Be happy, buy somewhere else. An Amazon Affiliate Link have of course been supplied for the far less expensive and yet just as lovely TORRAS cases I described.

24 thoughts on “Apple Doesn’t Honor Their Warranty on iPhone Cases

  1. David - August 14, 2019

    Are you leaving it at that?

  2. Anonymous - August 14, 2019

    Same thing has happened to my last 2 silicon cases from Apple. I’ve not tried to get it replace though, I didn’t realize they were supposed to have a 1 year warranty! I may try but hesitate to waste an hour more of my time.

  3. Tim Jahr - August 14, 2019

    Yeah, that’s not a satisfying enough ending to the story. I wanted to see you get vindication, not be treated the way that I am as an Apple customer (and Comcast customer and Verizon customer and AEP customer…)!

  4. podfeet - August 14, 2019

    Not sure what else I can do. I have escalated things higher from time to time but this one doesn’t make my threshold. I figured writing the article was worth the effort to warn other people off!

  5. David - August 14, 2019

    Yes, one has to choose one’s battles and keep a perspective. But those small irritations got to you. So what else can you do? Send a piece of the case with a printed copy of your post to Tim Cook?

  6. Cathy Ginsburg - August 15, 2019

    Great post. I am sorry you had so much trouble. I too love these Apple cases but they always crack on me. You are correct, I have been replacing them every six months. Next time, I taking your advice. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Lilly - March 5, 2020

    These Apple cases are trash. DO NOT BUY! They must have a campaign to NOT replace any defective cases. I had the exact same issue at the Apple store @ Sagemore in Marlton, NJ. The genius and the manager were both major tools. Shame on @Apple.

  8. Rhonda C. - March 13, 2020

    Same thing happening to corners of my case. Not sticky at least!

  9. Michael M - April 5, 2020

    Pure garbage from Apple. Not even 6 months old and the corners have broken off

  10. Anonymous - October 22, 2020

    I use to work for Apple at the Genius Bar. There are service guides for every product. The service guide for the cases states that cracks are not covered. Stuff doesn’t just crack. You either dropped it or were too rough with it. Don’t deny it, you cracked your iPhone case, something not considered a defect. But… the service guide specifically states that peeling is covered under warranty, even if there is physical damage to the case. That second part is very important. I believe the silicone Apple cases are the ONLY Apple product that can be replaced under warranty due to a defect (peeling) AND have physical damage. Usually physical damage voids any warranty, but not with the cases. If you go to the Genius Bar for a case that is peeling, their service guide specifically says it’s covered, even with physical damage. If the employee denies replacement under warranty, inform them that they are wrong and the service guide says it can be replaced.

  11. podfeet - October 22, 2020

    Thanks for the information on the warranty. I believe you know what you’re talking about but you don’t know how I treated my phone. When I accidentally put a magnet on my 2-hour old MacBook Pro, I told the Genius Bar I did it. When I washed my AirPods, I told the Genius Bar I did it. When I dropped and cracked a (different) iPhone without a case, I admitted it to the Genius. This phone lived in its case, in my purse, lovingly cared for. Please don’t call me a liar when you were never with this phone.

  12. Nick Tillekeratne - December 17, 2020

    Thank you for sharing! Something happened to me. They tell you “don’t worry just bring it in if it cracks we have a 12 months warranty” but they will never honor it! Shame on Apple! very disappointed and totally stay away from Apple cases !

  13. David Bennett - December 17, 2020

    Interesting what Anonymous said is his/her comment of October 22, 2020 – not about the crack but about the peeling. Mine peeled around the edges of the bit where it is open – near the home button – and Apple replaced it. I didn’t know about the advisory, and I did wonder whether I had done something that would have caused the case to peel. I didn’t think I had, but who knows? So now that I know that they do peel, I fee better about taking it in.

  14. Bull Driscoll - February 13, 2021

    I bought the APPLE clear MagSafe case for my iPhone 12 Max Pro. I dropped my phone in the bathroom and the case cracked at one of the corners. I assumed Apple would replace it but they would not. The case cost $50 and I am sure cost less than 50 cents to make.

    I will never ever buy a case from Apple again. Next time I will buy from otter box or Tech21 or any other manufacturer that stands behind its products

  15. Minifan101 - April 14, 2021

    Hi all,
    For those wondering about the durability of the Apple silicone cases read this:

    My uncle bought a iPhone 7 Plus a few years back and got the dark blue apple silicon case, seven months later the silicon had already peeled off the plastic shell of the case. He wasn’t happy with it but he didn’t get it check out at apple as he didn’t really mind as his kids were using his phone to play games and things.

    I found a lot of bad words about the silicon cases, but not so much about the leather ones, personally I’d go for one of those if you’ve got the money. I’ve got a Mous limitless 2.0 carbon case for my iPhone SE 2020 and it’s brilliant as it’s tough and it only cost £20 compared to the £35+ case from apple
    Thank you for reading this long comment

  16. podfeet - April 16, 2021

    I think the durability (or lack of it) wouldn’t bother me so much if they weren’t so expensive! I’m much happier now buying cases from Casekoo. They’re really inexpensive (<$20) so I can buy them in multiple colors and toss them without anger if they fall apart. But they don’t fall apart either!

  17. Don - May 18, 2021

    Same experience with the Apple Store in Richmond, VA. They said that peeling isn’t covered if the phone has ever been dropped.

  18. James. - August 13, 2021

    They wouldn’t replace my orange leather 12 pro max case that was discolored on the sides even though this guy had the same problem. They said it was supposed to be like that. I’ve been an Apple customer for 20 years ever since the first iPod. This year I’m going Android. For a $69 case they don’t care about their customers. Such arrogance.

  19. Allison Sheridan - August 13, 2021

    I feel your pain, James, but there is a less drastic option. I just buy cheap cases on Amazon (which seem to last longer) and I can change out at a whim because I don’t invest a lot of money on them. Moving to Android is an awfully drastic move!

  20. James - August 13, 2021

    I’m really fed up with their arrogance . I have already pre order the flip 3 Z Amazon is the best for customer service btw.

  21. Vincent van Niekerk - October 17, 2021

    I only use apple products and I had a MagSafe case on my iPhone and it dropped. I phoned apple this morning and they told me no product is perfect and I need to pay $1200 to repair the camera lense but I have a warranty on my phone and they can’t help me. The apple store told me that even though my phone had a MagSafe cover they can’t help me. When I purchased my phone I was not aware of apple support + and the the guy told me I needed to sign up with them in 60 days or my purchased and then my phone repair would have only cost me $160. I would like apple to pay for my phone repair as I had their cover on my phone. I would still pay $160 though. I have a iPhone 12 Pro Max.

  22. podfeet - October 17, 2021

    That’s heartbreaking, Vincent. Sadly the cases aren’t a warranty, that’s what AppleCare is for. There’s no way Apple will pay for the repair or replacement without AppleCare.

  23. Alex - September 9, 2022

    I just spent 20 minutes talking to a “Senior Advisor” at Apple customer care. My silicone case has a big crack in it and I asked for it to be replaced. She told me cracks are not covered. I asked her “So what IS covered?” and I swear she could not give me one reason! She kept saying “manufacturer defects are covered.” But when I asked her to please give me an example of a manufacturer defect, she COULD NOT THINK OF A SINGLE ONE! Infuriating.

  24. Lou Pearson - January 9, 2023

    Apple phone cases are garbage. Mine started cracking and peeling about 5 months after placing it on my new phone. Of course we drop our phones! That is why we have a case on it (-: But how then can the $14 silicone case I bought on Amazon still look amazing after the same amount of drops? My thought is that the Chinese production facility apple chose to manufacture its cases cheated them by using crap materials/process and apple’s response is to blame customers instead of not selling the defective cases.

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