A tale of two iPhones
Apple unveiled two new iPhone models at an event in California yesterday, designed to target both high and low-end budgets.
The iPhone 5S is the latest must-have advancement from the tech giant. Labelled "the most forward-thinking phone we've created" by head of marketing Phil Schiller, the luxury handset is available in silver, gold and grey.
It is 20 times faster than the iPhone 5, uses a 64-bit A7 chip and will run on iOS7. Standout features include an M7 motion coprocessor, 8mp camera, and the brand new Touch ID - a fingerprint recognition system built into the handset's Home button, which Apple hopes will replace "cumbersome" unlock codes.
At the other end of the scale, the iPhone 5C (pictured) is the long anticipated 'budget' model from Apple. Available in five vibrant colours with iOS7 and an A6 chip, the 5C is described as "beautifully, unapologetically plastic" on Apple's website. Head of software Craig Federighi said:
"In the past we've lowered the price of the old iPhone, making it accessible to a new group of people. This year we're not going to do that. The business has become so large that this year we're going to replace the iPhone 5 and replace it with not one but two new designs. This allows us to serve new customers."
Cheap enough for China?
These 'new customers' are likely to be emerging markets such as China. The new handsets will be launching on 20 September in the US and UK, but will simultaneously launch in China for the first time. With such a huge population and unconfirmed rumours of a deal with China Mobile (which boasts 700 million customers), Apple could reap substantial benefits from breaking into the Chinese market.
However, analysts have been shocked by the projected price range of the cheap iPhone. Although it will only cost $99 (£63) in the US on contract, to buy one sim-free is estimated at £469. At 4,500 yuan in China, Reuters reports the price is more than a month's wages for the average urban resident. Apple may therefore have priced the device out of reach of their target market.
Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, commented: "An affordable iPhone available in China could have been a big seller for Apple, so the iPhone 5C may not be the big break they were hoping for. Having said that, the US price is so affordable they may still see growth."