Apple has announced the iPhone 5C, a colourful smartphone which, along with the iPhone 5S, will replace the year-old iPhone 5 and be available in a range of colours, priced from £469.
Running the all-new iOS 7 operating system, the iPhone 5C will be available in green, white, blue, pink and yellow. The phone retains Apple love of unibody design where the back and sides are all one piece, but where recent iPhones have used aluminium, the iPhone 5C is made from polycarbonate plastic.
Expected to be an attempt by Apple to challenge the mid-to-low endof the market currently dominated by Android smartphone, the iPhone 5C will in fact remain very much in the high-end of the market, costing from £469 for the 16GB model.
In terms of design, beneath the polycarbonate covering a steel frame on the inside, which acts as the antenna as well as adding strength. Like the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5C gets the same 4in Retina display as the iPhone 5 with a resolution of 640 x 1136 pixels and a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch;.
In terms of power, Apple has gone for the A6 processor - same as the iPhone 5 - while the battery of the new model is said to be slightly larger than the year-old phone it replaces.
The camera on the iPhone 5C is again taken from the iPhone 5, featuring an 8-megapixel sensor, complete with five-element lens and hybrid infrared filter. On the front, the iPhone 5C has an upgraded 1.9-megapixel camera for high definition FaceTime video calls.
Apple claims the iPhone 5C supports more LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world, making it compatible with the recently launched 4G networks from O2 and Vodafone - something the current iPhone 5 is not. There's also dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
Pricing and release date
Available in 16GB and 32GB versions, the iPhone 5C is priced at £469 and £549 SIM-free. The iPhone 5C can be pre-ordered from 13 September and will go on sale one week later on 20 September.
In a promotional video for the iPhone 5C, Apple's head of industrial design Jony Ive describes the cut-price phone as "beautifully, unapologetically plastic."
Both the iPhone 5C and 5S will come bundled with Apple's iPhoto, iMovie, Pages, Numbers and Keynote applications free of charge - previously they had to be bought from the App Store for £2.99 each.
Apple has also created a range of brightly coloured cases with a "soft-felt silicone rubber" to protect the back and sides of the new phone. The cases have a number of circular cutouts on the back, revealing the device's colour underneath and will cost £25.
Widely rumoured in the weeks leading up to Apple's 10 September press conference, the iPhone 5C was said to be a necessary step against Apple's traditionally premium approach to consumer technology.
The iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S will replace the iPhone 5 in the Apple smartphone line up, while the company has also discontinued the iPhone 4. An 8GB iPhone 4S now becomes Apple's budget offering, priced at just £349.
Analysts will also be looking to the iPhone 5C for success in the developing markets of China and India, where Apple's high prices have seen it struggle to compete with cheaper, local rivals, but questions will remain asking whether the £469 starting price is low enough.
Recent reports claimed the California company is close to securing a distribution deal with China Mobile, the world's largest phone network with 740 million subscribers, but this is yet to materialise, and instead the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S will be sold on China's NTT Docomo network, which has 60 million customers, from 20 September.