The iPhone 5C is now available for preorder from Apple. The 5C comes into the market as a direct replacement for the current stable leading iPhone 5, marking the first time that Apple have elected to completely remove their incumbent iPhone from the market at the time of its successors release. The 5C is an interesting mix of improvement and recession from the iPhone 5. To differentiate it from the 5S, Apple have introduced a plastic shell for the first time which is likely to lend the 5C a ‘cheaper’ feel than previous iPhones. However, the 5C will maintain the same form factor as the 5, and will feature a more powerful core-spec, which will make it a faster phone than the current offering. This speed improvement will not be overly noticeable – certainly not compared to the 5S but the improvements in FaceTime and additional network connectivity will be welcome additions.
The new ‘budget iPhone’ marks Apple’s debut in the mid-tier of the smartphone market, pitching them against the likes of HTC for the first time. Apple have created the new 5C in five colours, which in itself is a move away from their standard formula. So alongside the ‘standard’ Apple white and black offerings will be blue, pink and green variations, which is in-keeping with the trend within the mid-tier market.
Consumers get the choice between ordering through carriers, which in the USA include Sprint and Verizon. Alternatively the new iPhone can be ordered contract-free. Whether you to choose to preorder or wait to buy in-store, you’ll be waiting until September 20th to get your hands on the new device. Apple will commence selling both the 5C and the 5S in-store on the 20th, as well as shipping the preorders.
In terms of price, Apple have ben criticised for not making the new 5C affordable enough, with some questioning whether Apple have priced the 5C out of the market from the off, leaving it isolated alongside the more desirable 5S. A 32GB model comes in at $649 and the 16GB model will only save you $100, meaning this is certainly at the top end of this market segment.
On contract, it is set to be cheaper, starting at $99 in the USA on Sprint. Bear in mind that the USA model is slightly different to the UK, as consumers are used to paying up-front for their smartphones in order to then get cheaper monthly rates.
In the UK, the 5C is only available as an upfront purchase, coming in at £469 for the 16GB at £569 for the 32GB. This once again represents poor value for UK consumers, who always get a raw conversion deal on Apple products.
UK consumers can learn more and pre-order the iPhone 5C here