Apple unveiled the newest editions to its iPhone lineup on Tuesday, the 5S and 5C, marking the first time the technology giant has released two models of its smartphone simultaneously.
Both phones will be released on Sept. 20. The 5S will begin at $199 for 8GB of storage and the 5C will begin at $99 for the same amount of storage. The prices are based upon a two-year contract with a cellular service provider.
In a press event today at the company’s Cupertino, CA headquarters, Apple laid out the details of its latest additions to the increasingly competitive smartphone market and also offered a more in-depth look at their mobile device’s newest operating system, iOS 7.
The markedly different price points may reflect a move by Apple to cater to a broader demographic of consumers, when the company has traditionally tried to portray itself as a maker of top-tier premium devices.
The physical design of the 5S will not differ much from that of the current iPhone 5, except that it will be available in 3 different colors: gold, silver and a hue deemed space grey.
However, the 5C will introduce Apple’s some vibrancy into Apple’s notoriously minimalistic design choices. Five vibrant color choices will be offered: green, blue, yellow, pink and white.
Rachael Bradley, a freshman in the Residential College of Arts and Humanities, owns an iPhone 4S and said she purchased the device because it was what many people she knew owned. She said she didn’t think the new model was something she needed.
“I guess I kind of just gave into peer pressure because it was the big thing and everyone was team Apple,” Bradley said. “My family (all has) iPhones.”
Apple’s senior vice president of marketing Peter Schiller said in Tuesday’s press event that the 5C will contain the same performance of the iPhone 5. In terms of hardware, all the components are identical, although the new device is a little over half a gram heavier than its predecessor.
The internal components of the 5S are considerably improved over the 5. Apple claims the new A7 processor will be twice as fast as the current A6 chip. The phone also boasts a better camera and the iPhone’s now-classic home button has been replaced by a touch-sensitive, fingerprint-scanning circle.
While the 5S is similar to Apple’s long-time practice of incremental improvements to their flagship devices. The introduction of the 5C, however, might represent Apple’s first foray into the lower-end smartphone market that their largest competitor, Google, has long dominated with their Android operating system, whose free, open source format has been incorporated a wide array of smartphones from different smartphone makers.
“These iPhones are packed with remarkable technologies, but we’ve done that in a way that really matters to people,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the event. “making things easier and better for our users.”