Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

You can already buy iPhone 16 cases, but you probably shouldn't

You shouldn't buy cheap 'iPhone 16' cases this early.

Last updated

Social media banter between leakers confirms that it's possible to buy cases for the iPhone 16 now. It's a really bad idea, though.

Accessory makers make bank on the release of new iPhones. When Apple brings out a new model, for the last decade or so, they've almost always been different than the prior model.

That starts up the money-printing machine. An ocean of cases and other add-ons arrive days after release, flooding the market.

Before the flood in earnest starts with a new iPhone release, though, the torrent starts with a trickle of things that Chinese accessory manufacturers are taking a gamble on. That river has already started to flow.

That said, don't buy one of these iPhone 16 cases now. It's a bad idea, and you're just lighting money on fire.

Rumor mill reminder

The nudge that you can buy a case early comes this time from a pair of leakers, having a public conversation on the topic on X. On Tuesday, serial leaker Majin Bu offered to tell people who message them how to get a preview case for their iPhone 16.

They include a selection of renders, displaying iPhones in a selection of cases.

In response, another leaker known as Shrimp Apple Pro or @VnchocoTaco posted a screenshot from a discounted shopping app displaying a search for "iPhone 16 case." The listings that appear all show images for potential cases for the device, along with descriptions referencing it by name.

Majin Bu fired back that Shrimp's images are of "poor quality products, they can be purchased by anyone."

Shrimp's reply states "There are no good quality [cases] until Apple announce[s] the phone." Instead, they are showing that people can "just get one for cheap on here instead of going through [a] sketchy third-party."

And that discussion lays out pretty clearly why you shouldn't buy now. Avoid sketchy resellers.

It's a really bad idea

While some may be extremely keen to get an iPhone 16 or iPhone 16 Pro in the fall, AppleInsider does not recommend getting accessories now.

Vendors work to have a lot of inventory available at the time of an iPhone model's launch. It is the period when consumers are most likely to purchase accessories, so the vendors try to capitalize on that.

However, Apple does not officially provide any assistance to accessory makers ahead of product launches. And, even after release, it provides no help to manufacturers that it considers sketchy.

That means accessory makers working ahead of a release must rely on the rumor mill for information. In early June, all of the physical iPhone models and CAD images for the fall releases are created based on accessory maker's best guess of what will change between iPhone generations.

Of course, Apple does work with some accessory makers for its own lines. Some information can and does leak out to the rest of the industry from these suppliers.

Apple holds partner suppliers to an incredibly strict code of conduct as it pertains to leaking proprietary inforamtion. So, truly trustworthy information is rare.

It's possible that the accessory makers selling through Temu and Aliexpress could have cases made to fit the iPhone 16 perfectly. It's a very small possibility, and a risk that most people should not take.

Wait until the iPhone 16 is actually released before buying accessories that rely on precise dimensions of the device. Your patience will be rewarded.