There were so many leaks about the new iPhones that Apple announced just a few hours ago that the only unknown was just the price point of the new, plastic-clad iPhone 5C. Those who assumed that “c” stood for cheap were hoping for a price somewhere between US$300 and $400. What Apple actually announced is a model that takes the place of the now-discontinued iPhone 5, which means it starts at $100 less when obtained on a contract or a plan. Without a contract, the base, 16GB model will probably sell for $549, or exactly $100 less than the 16GB iPhone 5 (and, presumably, its repalcement, the iPhone 5s) used to sell for.
So, what exactly is the iPhone 5c? It’s basically the iPhone 5′s innards clad in a polycarbonate shell. Has anything changed? A few things: the new model supports more LTE bands, making it better for roaming duties (it will make more sense to get an unlocked version now), an improved front-facing camera, a larger battery (according to The Verge), and an option to choose from among five colors (yellow, red, green, white, and pink). Based on the photos of the device, there seems to be only one speaker at the bottom; the speaker grills that used to be beside the earphone jack has been replaced by a single mic hole. If true, then this is a step back compared to the iPhone 5.
Why not just stick to using the iPhone 5 as a mid-level model, between the new iPhone 5S and the iPhone 4S? Well, the iPhone 5 was one of the most difficult (read: expensive) models to manufacture, and would have given Apple lower margins when sold at a lower price. The new 5C certainly costs less to manufacture, and should protect, or maybe even improve, Apple’s margins for the new mid-level product.
Based on the launch dates and pricing plans for the previous generation iPhones, the iPhone 5c should be available via local telcos by mid-December at the latest, though I’m betting it will be earlier this time around since Apple rolls out its new products to international markets at a faster rate each year. As for the price, expect similar plans: the premium model 5s should be free at monthly plans that cost Php2,000 and above, and the new 5c will probably be free at plans that cost around Php1,500, and can probably be had at lower plans but with some cash out.
For more details about the new iPhone 5C — features, design, tech specs, gallery, and video — you can go to Apple’s iPhone 5C page.
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