For six years, Apple has released one iPhone each year. There are multiple MacBooks, multiple iPads, multiple iPods, but there has only ever been one iPhone. Now there are two.
Revealed today, the brand new iPhone 5C looks almost identical to the iPhone 5S. It has the same size screen, same basic dimensions, same button layout … it’s all the same. The only major differences: it has a polycarbonate (plastic) shell that will come in a lot of colors and a somewhat weaker processor. Basically, it’s a gussied up, more affordable version of last year’s iPhone 5.
“The business has become so large, so this year we’re going to replace the iPhone 5,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook during today’s presentation. ”In the past, we’ve lowered the price of the current iPhone, making it accessible to more people. This year, we’re not going to do that.”
Apple’s head designer Jony Ive also defended the new plastic design: ”iPhone 5C is beautifully, unapologetically plastic.”
Earlier today, we speculated what the C in iPhone 5C might stand for. Color, China, Cheap, Choice, Cannibalization – these are all words that could all describe what the 5C may do. For Apple, releasing a second iPhone is a risk and a necessity. With an influx of good, cheaper Android phones, it needs a less expensive phone to compete in developing parts of the world, like China, but also here in the United States. Having one iPhone has always been a badge of honor for Apple, but people crave options, whether they need them or not. By providing the iPhone experience at a cheaper price ($100 with a two-year contract) and in a number of new colors, Apple is offering choice without compromising its vision for iOS. But it also risks cannibalizing sales of its own flagship iPhone 5S. But if the iPhone 5C can increase iPhone sales overall, it could be an all-boats rise scenario for Apple, which has seen iPhone sales stagnate in most places around the world outside the United States throughout the last year.
For all practical purposes though, there have always been multiple iPhones. In previous years, Apple would continue manufacturing the previous years’ models and sell them at reduced prices ($100 and $0 with a two-year contract). The iPhone 5C will replace these. Now Apple can offer its newest tech innovations at high-end and low-end prices. We haven’t heard this yet during the presentation but the iPhone 5C will probably come with the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into its Home button (iPhone 5 doesn’t have this). It also has the new, longer screen introduced with the iPhone 5.
Below is some info about the new iPhone 5C.
iPhone 5C Colors:
Apple will sell $30 silicon rubber cases that fit right over the 5C shell as well, so you can have a phone that’s two colors. Some of the cases have holes cut into them, so your phone can look extra gaudy.
iPhone 5C specs:
Casing: Polycarbonate (plastic)Processor: Dual-core A6 processorScreen size: 4.0 inchesHome button: Touch ID fingerprint sensor (we think)Connection speed: 4G LTEStorage: 16GB or 32GBOperating System: iOS 7Cameras: 1.2-megapixel front, 8-megapixel rear (3x video zoom)Battery life: About same as previous iPhones
The iPhone 5C will be available for $100 (16GB with a two-year contract at (we think: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon). More details forthcoming.
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