AL13 lightweight aluminum bumper for iPhone now available

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad

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AL13 iphone case

Kickstarter successes are pretty common. But a Kickstarter campaign that goes 400% over its goal and delivers to 100% of its backers on time? Not so common (according to a report at, 84% of Kickstarter’s top projects are shipped late). That’s why the AL13 lightweight aluminum bumper for iPhone from designed by m is worth a look, and why it’s good news that those who didn’t back it can now place their orders online.

Seeking a comparatively low cost, high quality aluminum bumper that didn’t add bulk to the iPhone, designed by m CEO and founder Lester Mapp developed the AL13.

“The iPhone is elegant just as it is; the beauty of its design stands out, so we want to preserve it,” Mapp said. “The AL13 is created from aerospace grade aluminum, so you get a slim, lightweight frame that’s tough enough to shield your iPhone from bumps and scratches yet elegant enough to blend perfectly with the iPhone’s form.”

Regarding signal loss:

designed by m did tests and reported that the AL13 has a signal loss of less than 10%, while other metal bumpers tested had a loss of 20% or greater.

Regarding functionality:

The AL13 raises the iPhone away from surfaces protecting the edges and absorbing the shock from bumps and knocks. A rubber lining acts as a shock absorber to minimize impact damage and also protects the iPhone while installing the AL13. A high impact, anti-scratch, anti-fingerprint and anti-glare polyurethane screen protector keeps your screen in pristine condition. The slide cover simply glides on and locks into place; no screws or tools necessary.

The AL13 costs $79.99 and is available for iPhone 4/4s and 5 in slate black, gun metal, silver, red, and blue.

AL13 iphone case

For more information and to place your order, visit

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  • Todd Sellers

    I am a backer. I received my Red iPhone 5 Bumper on time. I love the look, design, fit and finish. Unfortunately the signal loss renders the bumper useless on my iPhone 5 (AT&T). I am sitting right beside my wife who also has an iPhone 5 on AT&T. She has 5 bars and is on LTE. With the AL13 installed, I have 2 bars and I am on 4G. I can remove the AL13 and my iPhone will go to 5 bars and jump back on LTE. After re-installing the AL13, the bars go back down to 2 and the iPhone drops down to 4G. I have performed this test in at least 5 different areas of town with virtually the same result. As I said, I love the AL13, but I can’t use it due to signal loss.

  • Eric Jacobs

    I agree with Todd. I also have the red AL13 – drop-dead gorgeous, fabulous design aesthetically.

    Alas, signal loss is -18 dBm to -23 dBm on average. I’m on AT&T. This will drop me from 3 bars to 1 bar. I can no longer receive calls nor receive data with the AL13 when in an area with 3-bar coverage (frequently).

    I’ve written Lester Mapp about the signal loss, who in the past responded to my emails prior to shipping of the AL13. I have yet to hear back from Lester – but perhaps Lester is overwhelmed with similar emails.

  • Kirk Hiner

    We’re supposed to receive a review unit soon, so I’ll certainly watch out for that. In the meantime, I’ve reached out to the PR rep to see if there’s an official response to the issue.