As expected Apple launched two new iPhones in an array of colours and a redesigned iOS 7 operating system to run them. It's the first time Apple is releasing two iPhone models at once. How do the two new phones measure up against each other and their predecessor iPhone 5?
Apple is discontinuing the iPhone 5 released last fall. It's being replaced with the cheaper iPhone 5C and the high-end iPhone 5S.
The iPhone 5C has many of the attributes found in the iPhone 5. It has a screen measuring 4 inches diagonally and sports an 8 megapixel camera. The new phone, however, is largely made of plastic and doesn't have the aluminum side and glass back found in the iPhone 5. The 5C also is more colourful. It comes in a choice of green, blue, yellow, pink or white, rather than the traditional black or white.
The iPhone 5S has an identical screen, and its camera is also 8 megapixels. But each pixel is larger. That means it's better at capturing light, which should translate into better photos indoors and other low-light settings. The new camera also has a dual flash, which Apple calls True Tone. The flash fires two bursts of lights at once, each slightly different in color. The iPhone will adjust the combination of the two automatically to bring out more natural skin tones and other colors in images.
The 5S also has a faster, 64-bit processor, which lets it handle more data simultaneously compared with traditional 32-bit systems.
Also available with the 5S: a fingerprint-recognition system that lets you easily unlock phones without having to type in a four-digit code. Apple says many people don't use a passcode because it is cumbersome. With fingerprints, Apple says, the iPhone can offer security more easily.
Prices for the iPhone 5S will be similar to that of previous models: $199 for 16 gigabytes of memory, $299 for 32 gigabytes and $399 for 64 gigabytes, all with a two-year service agreement required. It will come in silver, gold and gray. The iPhone 5C will cost $99 for 16 gigabytes and $199 for 32 gigabytes.
Although Apple is discontinuing the iPhone 5, it will still offer the model before that, the iPhone 4S. The 4S will now be free with a two-year agreement.
Advance orders for the 5C only start Friday. Both versions will be available a week later, on September 20, in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and UK. This is the first time a new iPhone has been available right away in China, one of the world's fastest-growing markets. Both the phones are expected to be available in India before the end of the year.
(With inputs from AP)