iPhone 5c: Everything You Need to Know

During today’s media event at the Apple Campus in Cupertino, California, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, took the stage to announce the iPhone 5c. The iPhone 5c is Apple’s first plastic-bodied phone with a 4-inch screen, is shaped like the iPod touch, and is also Apple’s first iPhone that’s available in an array of bright colors. The 16 GB iPhone 5c starts at $99 on contract.

Hardware

 “iPhone 5c is everything iPhone 5 was and more, in an all-new design packed with great features,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPhone 5c is designed with a beautiful polycarbonate enclosure that looks and feels so solid in your hand.”

Phil Schiller as quoted in Apple's iPhone 5c press release.

Designed for young adults and emerging markets, the iPhone 5c is an affordable entry-level model consisting of a colorful contoured hard polycarbonate shell and a traditional black glass faceplate. Colors include: green, white, blue, red, and yellow. Inside the phone is structurally ridged, supported by a steel frame. Phil Schiller boasted on stage that you won't see seams, part lines, or joins. Environmentally friendly, the phone is arsenic and mercury free.

The iPhone 5c has the same guts as the iPhone 5, making it just as powerful as last year’s flagship model. This means that the iPhone 5c is powered by the same A6 processor that Apple claims doubles performance in comparison to the previous iPhone 4S. As Apple develops their custom processors in tandem with iOS, you can be sure that the A6 is capable of delivering excellent performance when launching apps on iOS 7 and playing games from the App Store.

Alongside the A6 will be a single chip for voice and data that supports HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, and LTE. The iPhone 5c can connect to 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (both 802.11n 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) networks, and supports Bluetooth Smart technology (Bluetooth 4.0).

Having the same guts also means the iPhone 5c has the same battery as the iPhone 5, allowing for 8 hours of 3G talk time, 10 hours of LTE  and Wi-Fi browsing, 8 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of video playback, and 40 hours of audio playback.

The iPhone 5c is equipped with an iSight camera that has an 8-megapixel sensor, backside illumination, a hybrid IR filter, f/2.4 aperture, and a five element lens. In tandem with the A6 processor, the iPhone 5c will be able to quickly snap photos in great detail at a maximum resolution of 3264 by 2248 pixels. Just like the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5c brings over the same dynamic low light capabilities, precision lens alignment, and a hard sapphire crystal lens that only a diamond could scratch. The front facing camera is a FaceTime HD camera that can capture 1.2-megapixel photos at a resolution of 1280 by 960 pixels.

The 4-inch Retina display, now standard across Apple’s iPhone lineup, is the same as the displays found in the iPhone 5 and the latest generation iPod touch. This means you can watch today's widescreen video in a standard 16:9 aspect ratio and in great color. Introduced with the iPhone 5, the 4-inch Retina displays fuse multitouch sensors to the surface of the display, letting content on the screen appear sharper and more lifelike.

You can learn more about the full range of tech specs for the iPhone 5c on Apple's product page.

Accessories

Complementing the variety of colorful shells on the iPhone 5c are additionally colorful form fitting cases. While the iPhone 5c shells are glossy, the cases are soft and matte in appearance. Each case will cost $29, and there's even a case gallery on the iPhone 5c store page that'll help you pick out the perfect color.

Pricing and Availability

On a two-year contract, a 16 GB iPhone 5c will cost $99, while a 32 GB iPhone 5c will cost $199. Off contract, the 16 GB iPhone 5c will cost $549, while the 32 GB iPhone 5c costs $649.

Through Apple's online store, the iPhone 5c will be available on contract for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, and off contract T-Mobile.

Pre-orders start on Friday, September 13th, with the phone becoming available a week later on September 20th. Launch countries include the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. Japan will also be getting the iPhone 5c on September 20th, with NTT DOCOMO announced as a new carrier (press release). By December, the iPhone 5c will be available in more than 100 countries.

For more coverage, check out our September 10 news hub and follow @macstoriesnet on Twitter.