Apple has finally launched its first budget-orientated smartphone, the iPhone 5C. This will replace the current iPhone 5 and change Apple’s long-running strategy of discounting older iPhone models for the more cost-conscious iPhone purchaser. It will be launched on the 20th of September, with pre-orders taken from the 13th.
Priced at $99 for 16GB model, $199 for 32GB model (UK contract prices to follow, £469 and £549 SIM-free), both on a fairly hefty two-year contract. That cuts $100 off the equivalent price for the iPhone 5 before the Apple Store closed for the launch event. It’s a significant reduction but it’s not the free-on-contract handset that some were hoping for in order to compete head-to-head with Android.
The web leaks have proven to be true, with a more colourful design in 5 tones, with white, red, blue, green and yellow designs. The back and sides are formed from a single piece with no seams or joints. Like Nokia’s Windows Phone handsets, it’s colour coordinated to fit with its operating system, in this case iOS 7.
There are also official cases in matching (or contrasting if you prefer) colours with a spotted back to let the iPhone 5C’s colour show through – looks like a Connect 4 board. It will be $29 each for the cases.
The shell is a polycarbonate plastic, with a steel frame inside it to add rigidity. There’s a hard, glossy coat to resist scratching and chipping. An improved Facetime camera has larger pixels for better low light performance and a BSI sensor. The main iSight camera appears to be identical again to the iPhone 5’s.
It has a 4in Retina display with sRGB colour and widescreen video. This sounds like the same display as used in the current iPhone 5. Inside is an A6 chip, again it looks to be the same as in the current iPhone 5.
It’s a great-looking handset, we’ll add some pics as soon as we get them, but it’s hard to say how well it will sell compared to the more advanced, A7-powered iPhone 5S. Especially when that handset only costs $100 more.