Apple’s US$99 smartphone: ‘the iPhone 5c beautifully, unapologetically plastic’

10 Sep 2013

Apple has revealed its lower-cost smartphone, the iPhone 5c, which will start at US$99 for a 16GB version rising to US$199 for a 32GB version. A new iPhone 4S 8GB model will also be available for free. The iPhone 5c will come with an A6 processor and is surrounded by hard-coated polycarbonate.

Inside the device is reinforced steel and the outside comes in various colours – green, yellow, blue, white and pink/red. Apple will also be selling custom cases made of soft silicon rubber with circular cut-out patterns for US$29 a piece.

The steel frame holds the internal components and also doubles as the iPhone 5c’s multiband antenna. The enclosure is one continuous and seamless structure that is finished with a hard coat for a durable and incredibly glossy surface.

The iPhone 5c will come with the same A6 processor that’s in the iPhone 5, however it will have a larger battery capacity.

It also comes with the same 8-megapixel rear camera that will have a five-element lens and a hybrid IR filter.

In a promo video announcing the iPhone 5c, Apple’s chief designer Sir Jony Ive said: “The iPhone 5c is beautifully, unapologetically plastic.”

He added: “It offers a dense feel you wouldn’t expect from a plastic product.”

The device comes with a 4-inch Retina display and a new FaceTime HD camera.

The smartphone also supports up to 13 LTE wireless bands, more than any other smartphone in the world, capable of download speeds of 100Mbps. It also comes with dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi support for up to 150 Mbps.

The iPhone 5c also comes with iOS 7, which Apple describes as the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone.

iPhone 5c will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK on Friday, September 20, and customers can pre-order their iPhone 5c beginning Friday, September 13.

The iPhone 5c will then reach 100 additional countries by December.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years