Apple Inc. said Tuesday it is replacing the iPhone 5 with two different phones — the higher-end iPhone 5S, which can be bought with a gold case, and the more affordable “unapologetically plastic” iPhone 5C.
The iPhone 5S features a new system-on-a-chip that Apple claims will make it twice as fast as its predecessor and it is the first-ever 64-bit smartphone. It also features Touch ID, a fingerprint authentication security feature.
The 16 gigabyte model will retail for $199 with a 2-year contract. It will be available for sale Sept. 20.
The iPhone 5S case will be made of high-grade aluminum and is being made available in three metallic colors — silver, gold and “space gray.”
The phone is billed to have battery life that is as good or better than the iPhone 5: 10 hours of 3G talk time, 10 hours of LTE browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, up to 250 hours of standby.
On the other end of the product spectrum, the iPhone 5C is slated to come in at least five colors.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, showed the polycarbonate phones in five colors Tuesday: green, yellow, blue, white, red and yellow.
Schiller said the new phone, which will start for retail sale at $99, does not have visible seams. It will be available for preorder Sept. 13.
“The iPhone 5C is beautifully, unapologetically plastic,” Schiller said. “Multiple parts have been reduced to a single polycarbonate component whose surface is continuous.”
Apple exectuives also detailed updates to its iOS 7 operating system Tuesday afternoon as it warmed up the crowd gathered at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters for the expected announcement of two new iPhones.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, discussed updates to Apple’s iOS 7 operating system which features up updated interface and includes upgrades to the operation and voice options for Siri.
The operating system, which will be available for free Sept. 18, also allows new grouping options for photos and music. It will run on iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, and fifth-generation iPod touch.
And the surprise of the event? Singer Elvis Costello wrapped up the presentation with three songs from his new album.
With the iPhone 5S, Apple is trying to beat back rivals like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in markets like India and China, where it is fast losing ground.
The 5C phone would bring one of the industry’s costliest smartphones within reach of the masses in poorer emerging markets for the first time. Wall Street approves of the move to offer a more basic version of the device, although some investors warned initially it will dilute margins and potentially tarnish a brand that has been linked to premium users since its 2007 inception.
Now, they hope a bigger emerging-market presence can help reverse a 29 percent fall in the company’s share price since it hit a record high of $702.10 a year ago. The selloff was fueled by fears of slowing growth and a perception that its ability to innovate and shake up industries was dwindling.
Investors were hoping that Apple would unleash some of its old magic, with many building bullish share and options positions. But, shares were down $8.87 to $497.30 after the announcement at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
In the past two weeks, Apple investors have bought almost twice the number of call options than puts on three major U.S. option exchanges.
Industry observers said Apple has not turned out a category-defining electronic device since late co-founder Steve Jobs made a bet on the iPad in 2010. Speculation revolves around a smartwatch — along the same lines as Samsung’s recently introduced Galaxy Gear — or some sort of TV product.
But analysts said neither is likely to generate numbers anywhere in the neighborhood of the iPhone, which supplies half of Apple’s revenue and is its highest-margin product.
“Apple needs to demonstrate in the coming months that it has other product lines which can start to make up for slowing growth and falling margins in (the) iPhone and iPad,” said Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst for Ovum Research.
“That’s a tall order,” she said.
Source Chicago Tribune