At an event in Cupertino California on Tuesday, Sept. 10, Apple announced the two newest additions to the iPhone brand; the iPhone 5C and 5S.
One is offered as a cheaper alternative for younger buyers of smartphones and one is claimed to be the “gold standard of smartphones,” featuring new biometric technology.
The iPhone 5C is aimed at a younger and less affluent market. The phone comes in a variety of vibrant colors and is made mostly of plastic to cut cost. Apple has cut about $200 dollars of the price of the phone to have it in an unlocked month-to-month version.
The iPhone 5 currently costs $749 to buy and use on a monthly basis with the carrier Verizon. The 5C will be $549 from T-Mobile or direct from Apple. Apple is also offering an attractive $99 two-year contract version of the phone directly from them.
Apple has always marketed itself as a higher end smartphone. However, some analysts feel that this is a peculiar and potentially harmful business move.
“Apple’s downmarket strategy comes with risks. By offering a lower-cost version of the iPhone, Apple could cheapen its brand or cannibalize demand for its more expensive model” analysts from the Washington Post said.
The iPhone 5S is advertised as the more sophisticated and elegant brother of the smartphone twins. The new phone comes in new colors as well, the most notable of which is a metallic gold, or according to Apple, “champagne.”
In addition to new colors, the 5S features a new way to access your phone and confirm purchases with a new fingerprint scanner in the phones ‘Home’ button, referred to as “Touch ID.” Apple also improved the motion control range and capabilities of the phone.
As with most new forays in biometric technology, there is a vocal contingent of activists opposed to the new Touch ID system. This comes despite Apple’s claims to not be storing fingerprint information in local facilities, but rather directly on the devices.
“Apple’s new product should spark a much-needed debate on how much personal information has to be collected from us and the need for comprehensive privacy legislation,” Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy said.
To many customers, something more alarming than the Touch ID system will be the price of the device. To purchase an unlocked version of the iPhone 5S, customers will need to pay $649 minimum for the gigabyte version, and up to a whopping $849 for the 64 gigabyte version that isn’t available for the iPhone 5C. It is clear that Apple feels this is the phone for the hardcore user, the true Apple fanatic.
Both phones will receive an upgrade to their processor, touch screen, and camera. The camera will now be 8 megapixels and feature slow motion and image stabilization modes. Both phones will also receive a new iOS update with iOS7 which will be rolling out two days before the phones on Sept. 18.
They will be available for sale Sept. 20 in more than 100 countries and on 270 carriers. Following Apple’s announcement, company shares dipped nearly 3 percent. It closed down about 2 percent at $494.64 per share.