No, you don't need a damn case for your iPhone 5 -- but if you have butterfingers and you must use a case, this seems to me like the only acceptable one. The SurfacePad is not only simple and elegant -- complementing the iPhone's design rather than turning it into an ugly hulk or a clear-plastic-wrapped granny sofa -- but also has function.
And it protects your screen too, unlike 99 per cent of the offensively horrible covers out there. Made of ultra-thin and smooth napa leather, the TwelveSouth's SurfacePad can also serve as a stand.
Like the manufacturer says, it's not designed to resist a car getting over your iPhone, but it will protect your mobile against the most common threats without turning its clean lines into a unrecognisable mass of deformed plastic. And for that alone, I applaud them.
It's $US35 and available for iPhone 5 and iPhone 4/4S.