The week in iPhone 5 cases: Protection junction

There seems to be no end in sight to the onslaught of iPhone 5 cases

There seems to be no end in sight to the onslaught of iPhone 5 cases, which is great news for all those of us who are eagerly awaiting their new handset in the mail--or who are recovering from a very early morning in line at their closest Apple Store. Here are some of the latest announcements, lovingly collected by your faithful Macworld staff.

Ballistic: The Every1 (iPhone 5; $50) is a wraparound case that provides all-around protection, with a four-layer construction and a special air-gap suspension system that helps absorb shocks. It comes in pink/purple, charcoal/white, charcoal/baby blue, charcoal/raspberry, black/grey, grey/black, pastel violet/purple, black/white, or green/blue. And, if four layers of protection sounds like a lot, you'll be surprised to hear that the Hard Code (iPhone 5; $60) provides five of them, and comes in many of the same color combinations.

The Shell Gel (iPhone 5, $35) is a snap-on case that features a ballistic gel polymer construction for maximum shock absorption, and comes in black, pink/black, white/black, cobalt, charcoal/raspberry, purple/teal, or charcoal/white. Its more advanced cousin, the SG Maxx (iPhone 5; $50) is also built to provide excellent protection, and comes with a convenient horizontal holster for clipping your iPhone to your belt, plus an outside silicone coating that ensures an excellent grip. The Maxx is available in black, black/white, charcoal/raspberry, cobalt, charcoal/white, or black/red.

Finally, for a more fashion-conscious take on protective accessories, look no further than the Smooth (iPhone 5; $30), which was built to be thin but highly conspicuous, thanks to its interchangeable components that come in a variety of different colors.

Cygnett: The Vector (iPhone 5; $19) features sleek embossed lines and an impact-resistant design; it's built to keep your iPhone safe while offering a splash of color and fashion, and comes in black or purple. For a similarly elegant protective solution, you can also take a look at the Workmate (iPhone 5; $30), which features a heavy-duty shell and inner lining, and is available in black or olive green.

In the premium materials department, the company has introduced the UrbanShield, available in Genuine Carbon Fiber (iPhone 5; $30) and Aluminum (iPhone 5; $25), available in silver or black. Both models provide excellent protection using a dual material construction designed to fit snuggly around your handset.

If you're looking for simpler components, Cygnett has you covered with the Aerogrip Feel (iPhone 5; $19), Polygon (iPhone 5; $19), Second Skin (iPhone 5; $17), and the Crystal (iPhone 5; $19), all available in a wide variety of colors and styles, and designed to offer excellent protection with minimal bulk. The Icon (iPhone 5; $30), on the other hand, is a heavier hard shell case with an attractive look, thanks to the various New York graffiti art-inspired patterns in which the case is available.

Cygnett's iPhone 5 offerings are rounded out by the FlipWallet (iPhone 5; $40), which integrates your handset with a veritable wallet, complete with money compartment and plastic card sleeves; the Bulldozer (iPhone 5; $20), built for extra protection thanks to its sturdy construction and easy-grip texture; the Lavish, a wraparound case made of genuine leather with a special magnetic clasp that keeps your iPhone safe while you're not using it; and the Action Armband (iPhone 5; $17), built for active users who take their iPhones with them when running or working out.

FreshFiber: The company's iPhone 5 lineup includes the Macedonia (iPhone 5; $40), a soft rubber snap-on case that features a see-through, three-dimensional pattern. It is available in grey, purple, graphite black, pink, stone white, or red. The similarly constructed Maille (iPhone 5; $40) can be custom manufactured with a word or saying of your choice printed on the back for a small additional fee (limited to one line of text), and comes in red, stone white, pink, grey, graphite black, or purple. Finally, the Mondriaan (iPhone 5; $35) includes a handy pocket that can be used to store cards and cash; pick between graphite black, stone white, or grey.

Griffin Technology: The company announced more than two dozen accessories in support of Apple's latest handset, including the Survivor Belt Clip (iPhone 5; $50), which is built to military standards to provide shatter-resistant protection for your iPhone and comes in 20 different multi-colored themes. Griffin Technology also announced the Reveal (iPhone 5; $20), a simple but efficient snap-on shell that features a clear body with a colored bumper, available in white, blue, orange, aqua, black, grey, yellow, or pink; and the awfully cute Kazoo (iPhone 5; $25) designed for little ones in the shape of a variety of zoo animals.

For a more sophisticated yet fun look, you may want to check out the Wise Eyes Series (iPhone 5; $25), the Mustachio (iPhone 5; $25), and the Moxie (iPhone 5; $30). Based on the same overall design, these cases offer a wide range of colors and styles, varying from elegant animal prints to stylized animals, to... mustaches.

HitCase: The HitCase Pro (iPhone 5; $130) is designed for active users and extreme sports lovers. It features an extremely durable and high-impact protection system, and can be mounted on a variety of surfaces, such as the handlebars of a bike or the top of your helmet. Its companion app can even record your videos alongside a special overlay that displays your speed, altitude, inclination, and other cool stats.

Incase: The Slider (iPhone 5; $35), available in black or white, is a two-piece hard shell that provides wraparound protection for all your iPhone's critical areas. Its same basic design is also adopted by the Metallic Slider (iPhone 5; $35), which features a special metallic coating and comes in pink, purple, or grey, and the Crystal Slider (iPhone 5; $35), whose dazzling design glitters in the light and can be purchased in grey, red, or yellow.

For a more minimalistic approach to protection, the Snap Case (iPhone 5; $30) is a single-piece snap-on shell designed to be lightweight and durable. It adds protection to your device without the bulk, and comes in clear or black frost.

Finally, for the active user, the Sports (iPhone 5; $40) is a black armband that delivers comfortable sweatproof protection, can be adjusted to fit a wide range of arm girths, and is even washable.

Macally: Among the company's dozen-or-so iPhone 5 cases, you'll find the Protective Frame (iPhone 5; $15), which adds full protection to the sides of your handset and provides an enhanced soft plastic grip. You'll also find the Aluminum Frame (iPhone 5; $35), which works in much the same way, but is made of genuine, high-grade aluminium. The Protective Frame is available in black, white, or red, while the Aluminum Frame comes in black, red, or gold.

The Folio Stand (iPhone 5; $30) is, you guessed it, a folio-style case that covers your iPhone, and it doubles as a fold-out stand for hands-free viewing in landscape mode. It's made of faux leather, and is available in black, red, or white.

The Hardshell Clear (iPhone 5; $20) is a hard shell polycarbonate with soft edges that protects your iPhone while adding minimal bulk; its see-through construction allows the beauty of Apple's design to shine through unhindered. It's available in a clear/clear or black/clear model. A completely clear soft-shell version, called Clear Protective Flexible (iPhone 5; $10) is also available.

Finally, the Protective Holster (iPhone 5; $30) is specially designed with a belt clip that can double as a viewing stand, and is built from a durable TPU material to ensure protection and durability, which keeps your handset safe when you take it on the road with you.

Marware: The SportShell Convertible (iPhone 5; $50) is a snap-on shell with an interchangeable back that makes it adaptable to a number of different scenarios, from sports to a casual evening out. It comes in black or white.

The Revolution (iPhone 5; $35) is a three-piece shell whose panels are designed to interlock tightly and provide full protection to your handset, including its buttons. The various parts can be mixed-and-matched from the four available colors and styles.

The Stash (iPhone 5; $35) comes in black and features a convenient pocket at the back that can hold your credit cards or ID. In addition, a special slot in the back can be used to house one of your cards, which then doubles as a stand for hands-free viewing.

The Microshell (iPhone 5; $25) is Marware's ultrathin back cover, made of impact-resistant polycarbonate for maximum protection without adding bulk. It comes in a variety of colors and styles, including clear, black, pink, blue, grey, and polkadot.

The Zooey (iPhone 5; $50) is a leather wallet that comes with a complimentary Microshell case, and a handy shoulder strap for carrying your handset around. Two zippered pockets provide room for cards, cash, and accessories.

Finally, the C.E.O. Prestige Plus (iPhone 5; $40) is a holster made of genuine leather and designed for the professional who wants to make a good impression. It includes a free Microshell, covers 98 percent of the iPhone while you're not using it, and features a convenient push-through opening at the bottom for quick access to your handset.

XtremeMac: Even though the company's Website hasn't been updated yet, we have the scoop on the company's upcoming iPhone 5 lineup, which includes the SportWrap (iPhone 5; $25), a high-performance armband designed for users who lead active lives and often find themselves with a shortage of pockets, and the SportWrap LED (iPhone 5; $80), which includes a special set of safety lights for running or biking in the dark.

The Microshield Stand (iPhone 5; $25) features a special construction that allows the case to turn into a stand, which can then be conveniently folded away when not needed. Despite its flexibility, it's built of durable hard plastic for maximum protection, and comes in gunmetal, turquoise, red, pink, or pearl. For more flash, you may be interested in the Microshield Fade (iPhone 5; $20), which doesn't have a kickstand, but does come in a variety of gradient colors, including purple/pink, blue/purple, green/yellow, yellow/orange, black/grey, and clear/grey. If texture is what you're after, XtremeMac has also announced the Microshield Style (iPhone 5; $25), which is available in a special cork finish.

XtremeMac's offerings are rounded out by the Tuffwrap (iPhone 5; $20), built with a smooth finish and textured construction to provide an excellent grip while keeping your phone safe and ensuring that you maintain access to all your ports and cameras thanks to the appropriate cutouts.

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