Review: Apple’s leather card holder for iPhone 12 is not for everyone

Apple's leather card holder is a Unique,Compact accessory, there was not yet such a thing and has Space for 3 important cards

Apple has released a leather wallet for bank cards and other important cards: the leather card holder for iPhone 12 ( € 59 ). You attach this magnetically to the back of your device with MagSafe. In this review you can read about our experiences!

Leather card holder for iPhone 12

The leather card holder for iPhone 12 is one of the new MagSafe accessories in stores this fall. Initially, Apple struggled to deliver the first copies, but now that they are in stock at some Apple Stores, I was of course quick to respond. I had read some disturbing stories about this folder: it could just fall off your iPhone and then you lost your bank cards. You can read whether that is really the case in this review. In any case, I can already reveal that this accessory is by no means suitable for everyone

The normal leather iPhone cases are available from Apple from Friday, November 6. Then the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max will also go into pre-order, which, like the previous iPhone 12 models, are equipped with MagSafe.

Leather card holder in short

  • Only suitable for iPhone 12 series
  • Equipped with MagSafe magnets
  • Available in four colors: blue, yellow, brown and black
  • Also fits on top of silicone case
  • You must remove the folder before you can use the MagSafe Charger
  • Special shielding to prevent your cards from demagnetizing

Design of the Apple leather card holder

The leather card holder is a small card holder, made of leather. I chose the most striking color California Poppy, because it stands out a bit more and because it makes it easier for me to find the accessory. Because I have a blue iPhone and case, the choice for the blue variant may have been obvious. But I didn’t like three different shades of blue and a contrasting color seemed nicer to me.

That turned out to be good: after a few days I still think this case is beautiful. I think the combination with the white silicone case for iPhone 12 is the most successful . This is a color combination that really makes me happy.

Also fits on a blue cover, although it quickly becomes IKEA style. I like more with white.

The holder has space for 3 passes, where I opted for a public transport card, driving license and debit card. Those are my three most essential steps. The great thing about this case is that you can also insert 1 or 2 cards without them sliding out. This is due to a special mechanism at the bottom, which exerts extra pressure on the cards. You therefore have to put in some effort to get the cards out.

I think it’s fine that you can only put 3 passes in it. With a larger capacity, the case would have become too big and heavy, negating the whole idea of ​​a minimalist card wallet. It should be compact and flat enough to still put your iPhone on the table, without it becoming unstable. Nobody is waiting for a big bulge on the back of the iPhone . Moreover, it now still fits comfortably in the hand.

The card holder replaces this bulky wallet, which mainly contains cards that I rarely need. He can stay at home for the time being.

Something to keep in mind is that you cannot just pull the cards out of the card holder. You will have to remove the card holder from your iPhone unless you have very small and pointed fingers. Apple might have solved this by making the front flap smaller. Personally, I prefer that the passes are covered a bit more.

There is only one size, suitable for all iPhone 12 models. That makes sense, because bank cards always have a standard format. With the iPhone 12 mini , the case will come to the edges, with the other models it is aligned in the middle.

Apple has opted for European premium leather, which has a very smooth finish so that every case looks exactly the same. That in itself is reassuring, because this way you can be sure that your case does not have a strange grain in unexpected places. I myself prefer more natural leather with a little more structure.

However, the leather is so smooth in structure that it is reminiscent of artificial leather. As far as the material is concerned, I therefore have two thoughts: I love natural materials such as leather, but in this variant Apple could just as well have opted for a nice quality imitation leather. That is more animal-friendly, is suitable for vegans and it better fits the environmentally friendly image that Apple wants to convey.

The only question is whether the case would have turned out much cheaper. With a price of 65 euros, this is really one of the more luxurious accessories, intended for those who already have everything. The price is on the high side, but fortunately it is not a necessary accessory and you can decide for yourself whether you think it is worth it. The stitching shows that it was made with an eye for detail. This is not a hastily put together case.

Three cards fit in the card holder.

MagSafe leather card holder in use

When I saw the first photos of the MagSafe card holder, I noticed the hole on the back. Why? This quickly becomes clear when unpacking. The cards are so tight in the holder that they don’t just slide out (phew!).

You slide the cards up through the hole at the back. A great solution for me. Apple could also have used a pull-up ribbon or a mechanism like the Secrid wallets. But a hole where you put your finger actually works just as well and looks a lot more minimalist.

Not everyone agrees. When I showed the cover to partner Jean-Paul, he didn’t like it at all. He would rather be able to take the cards from above. The sleeve should be a bit shorter so that the cards stick out a bit. I disagree, but have noticed that this accessory evokes quite a few polarizing responses, ranging from ‘design fail’ to ‘this is definitely a quick thought two hours before the keynote?’

The key question: does it fall off?
The case can be attached directly to the back of the iPhone, but you can also combine it with the MagSafe silicone case (review) . This makes a big difference. If you stick the cover on the back of a naked iPhone, the magnetic effect is less strong than when you use the silicone cover. This is due to the rubbery structure, which means that the magnetic connection does not shift as quickly. At first I did not understand why there were so many complaints about this case. In videos I saw that you could knock the case off with one big tap and put it in your pocket and the case slipped off the iPhone. My experiences were very different.

In the meantime I have seen and read enough YouTube videos about the experiences of others, it is clear that this case is actually much more of a niche product than you might initially think. This is not an accessory to handle roughly and to put in your trouser pocket. If you are used to buying luxury products that you handle carefully and carefully, then this is a great accessory. I get that this is an intriguing new accessory that everyone wants, but it’s good to think about whether it fits your usage habits. For me the magnet effect is just right, but I also use a cover. It is nothing for people who have different usage requirements.

If you always put your iPhone in your pocket and you don’t use a case, then it is less suitable. If it takes some effort to squeeze your iPhone out of your pocket, it may happen that the card folder shifts and remains in your pocket. But if you think about it, that is also quite logical: to detach a magnetic accessory, sliding sideways always requires the least amount of force.

I don’t know how else Apple could have solved this. An extremely strong magnet makes it almost impossible to take the case off, so that is not the solution. A front pull mechanism doesn’t look good either. Apple will have deliberately opted for a less strong magnet effect, also to ensure that the cards are not damaged by the magnets.

The magnetic effect is therefore a lot less strong than with the MagSafe Charger (review) , which attaches itself to your iPhone with a firm click. With the MagSafe Charger you have another cable that you can pull, but with the card holder you have to slide to the side to detach.

If you, as a pocket user, really want this map folder, you could get used to putting your iPhone in your pocket with the cards facing you. Is it weird that you have to adapt your habits to the product? Mmmja. But you don’t just throw a designer handbag in the washing machine because it is nice and practical. Some things require you to handle it differently. Are you a bit more careless or rougher with your things, or do you think all this is a bit of a hassle, then you better take a cover on which the card compartment is already sewn.

Who is the Apple leather card holder ideal for?

When Apple announces new official accessories, it makes sense that many people want them right away. Still, I think you should consider whether this leather folder is something for you. It is not suitable for everyone.

If you plan to bring more than 3 passes, the leather card holder is not suitable for you. With some effort it might fit 4 thinner cards, but that is really the maximum. And the cards are so tight that it is more difficult to take them out again. If you have a big wallet and want to take all the cards with you, it is better to opt for a separate card folder, such as the aforementioned Secrid. If you have a minimalist lifestyle and only want to take your most essential cards with you, the case will suit you better.

For people who carry their iPhone without a cover in a pocket, this accessory is also less suitable, because you make the same sliding movement as when removing the cover. It can therefore happen that you slide the cover loose. I have not been able to come up with a real solution for this.

I think the case will also show signs of wear more quickly if you keep rubbing it against the raw denim. There are people who like worn leather, but I prefer to keep this card holder in like-new condition and usually put my iPhone in a slightly more spacious jacket pocket.


  • Unique accessory, there was not yet such a thing
  • Space for 3 important cards
  • 1 or 2 passes also remain in place
  • Can also be combined with MagSafe case
  • Magnetic effect with cover is good in my opinion
  • Compact and minimalist


  • Pricey, given the simple design
  • Some people find this case unusable
  • Leather is not animal and environmentally friendly and that no longer fits the values ​​that Apple wants to convey
  • When used without a (rough) cover, the magnet is less strong
  • Removing passes takes some effort  LEATHER CARD HOLDER

Conclusion leather card holder for iPhone 12

After a few days of use, I still don’t regret this leather card holder. I love the dark yellow color, I like it in combination with the covers I use and it is handy when you need to get out the door quickly. It suits my lifestyle, but I also understand that there are people who don’t like it at all: the case is too expensive, too small, too clumsy, and so on.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that this case was released by Apple itself. This gives the impression that it is intended for a much broader target group and that as a real Apple fan you ‘must’ have it. But that is absolutely not the case. Had this accessory been made by any accessory maker, it would have been less of a fuss.

It is great that 1 or 2 cards also stay in place and that the whole remains compact, so that it still fits comfortably in the hand. The case is very nicely finished and made of smooth leather, although I had expected from Apple that at least one copy was released in artificial leather – for those who do not want real leather.