Apple unveiled two new iPhones, the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S, on Tuesday during an event at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters. The 5C is cheaper than its predecessors, a sign that Apple has targeted emerging markets and consumers unwilling to spend $500 on a new phone (excluding the plan).
A 16-gigabyte version of the C will sell for $99, while a 32-gigabyte version will sell for $199. Whereas other iPhones are available in white and black, the 5C is also available in several colors — green, white, blue, pink, and yellow. It is also plastic.
The second phone is the 5S, an update on the existing iPhone 5. It comes in silver, gold and a space gray and features a 64-bit chip – the first smartphone with such a chip.
Apple executives spent a great deal of time talking up the new features of the phone, which runs five times faster than the 5 and features Touch ID, which will enable users to make purchases and open their phone with their fingerprint. The 5S starts at $199 (for 16 GB) and runs as much as $399 (for 64 GB).
Save the new fingerprint technology, the announcement of the 5S mirrors past Apple announcements. The C suggests Apple is working to combat rivals such as Samsung who have amassed large consumer base by selling phones with comparable (and sometimes superior) features for lower prices.
Apple has entered that market by offering a phone that is both colorful and “beautifully, unapologetically plastic” according to Apple marketing executive Phil Schiller.
“In the past, when we introduced a new iPhone, we lowered the price of the old iphone,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on-stage. “This year, we’re not going to do that. This year, we’re going to replace the iPhone 5. With not one, but two new designs.”
Apple will have sold 700 million devices running its mobile operating system by some time next month and earlier in its presentation, Apple showed a sneak peak of iOS 7, its new operating system. The new operating system includes more than 200 new features, including an updated Siri, new filters for the camera and iTunes Radio.
iTunes Radio plants Apple in the web radio business, one that already includes Pandora. As with Pandora, iTunes Radio users will be able to create their own stations and buy songs.
iOS 7 will become available Sept. 18 on iPhones 4 and up, iPad 2 and, eventually, iPad mini and the fifth generation iPod touch.