Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, says the 5S is the ‘most forward-looking phone’ the company has ever created. It goes on sale Sept. 20.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
CUPERTINO, Calif. — For the first time since introducing the device that changed cell phones forever, Apple will offer two distinct versions of the latest iPhones — a cheaper one made of plastic and another that aims to be “the gold standard of smart phones” and reads your fingerprint.
Apple unveiled the latest iPhone models, which will be available on Sept. 20, during an event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. The move comes as the company tries to fend off Samsung and other competitors that want to challenge Apple in the competitive smart-phone market. The lower-cost iPhone 5C is expected to help boost sales in China and other areas where people don’t have as much money to spend on new gadgets as they do in the United States and Europe.
Research firm Gartner Inc. estimates that Apple Inc. had a 14.4 percent share of the world’s smart-phone market in the second quarter of this year, No. 2 behind Samsung’s 31.7 percent.
The lower-cost iPhone 5C will be available in green, blue, yellow, pink, and white. CEO Tim Cook calls it “more fun and colorful” than any other iPhone. The 5C has a 4-inch Retina display and is powered by Apple’s A6 chip. It also has an 8 megapixel camera, live photo filters, and a rear cover that lights up.
The iPhone 5C will cost $99 for a 16 gigabyte model and $199 for a 32 gigabyte model with a two-year wireless contract.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek called the phones “lovely,” but said in a note to investors that the $99 minimum price for the 5C “is higher than expected and still leaves Apple with a product gap in the low end.”
Without a contract, the 5C costs $549 and $649 depending on memory size.
The second phone, the 5S, is “the most forward-looking phone we have ever created,” said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple.
It will come in silver, gold, and “space gray” and run a new chip — the A7, which is up to twice as fast as the A6.
Mr. Schiller said the new phone can run more health and fitness applications. These apps have become increasingly popular as more people use them to track exercise routines, calorie intake, and even sleep patterns.
The camera in the 5S received some major upgrades, including several automatic features designed to produce better photos.
It has a larger aperture, which helps capture more light.
The phone also has a “true-tone” flash feature that is designed not to clash with the colors in the room or a person’s skin color — something Mr. Schiller said has not been done on a phone before.
The camera, called iSight, has “auto image stabilization,” which helps avoid blurry pictures, and a slow-motion camera for video.
A “burst mode” can take 10 frames per second as long as you hold your finger on the shutter, then find the best one in your camera roll.
The 5S also includes “Touch ID,” which reads fingerprints at a “detailed level,” Mr. Schiller said. He said it is “fun and easy” to teach the 5S about your fingerprint and once you do, you can just touch the home button to unlock the phone. The company said fingerprints will not be stored on its servers.
Tying the fingerprint scanner to payments could also open new revenue channels for Apple.
Both models will be on sale on Sept. 20 in the United States. People will be able to order the 5C in advance on Friday, but not the 5S.
For buyers who are entering a two-year contract with a wireless carrier, the 5S will cost $199 for 16 gigabytes of memory, $299 for 32 and $399 for 64.
Apple also announced that its next mobile operating system, the iOS 7, will be available as a free download on Sept. 18.
Craig Federighi, head of software at Apple, said at an event at the company’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters that “downloading iOS 7 is like getting an all-new device.”
The new system can be downloaded on the iPhone 4 and later models, as well as on the tablets beginning with the iPad 2.
Investors seemed unimpressed. Apple’s stock price fell $11.60, or 2.3 percent to close Tuesday’s trading at $494.58.