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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  1. 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.

    Todd Sellers
  2. 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.

    Eric Jacobs
  3. 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.

    Kirk Hiner