In an eagerly anticipated product unveiling today at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple announced two new versions of its iPhone, The Washington Post reports.
The new iPhone 5C is a low-cost edition of the smartphone selling for as little as $99, aimed largely at overseas markets. The other new phone is the iPhone 5S, a high-end upgrade.
"The cheaper version of the phone, known as the iPhone 5C, will come in several new colors, including green, gray, light blue, pink and yellow, according to various media reports," The Post reports. "The iPhone 5C will cost $99 for 16 GB on a two-year contract and $199 for 32 GB — essentially the same price points that Apple used to offer for its older phones."
In a promo video for the phone, Apple design guru Jony Ive called the 5C “beautifully, unapologetically plastic.”
The high-end iPhone 5S "will come with a new chip, the M7, which will help the phone measure motion and environmental information, according to Mashable. That will allow Apple to tap into the growing field of health data," the story reports. "The iPhone 5S will be the same price as the iPhone 5, and will have [a] 16GB version for $199, a 32 GB version for $299 and a 64 GB version for $399, all on contract."
The company also announced "Touch ID," a new fingerprint sensor. "Users will be able to teach the iPhone to recognize a fingerprint, reports The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple, and also be able to authenticate their App Store purchases through a fingerprint," the story reports.
The unveiling "comes as a time when the question of whether the firm can maintain its cool factor has dogged Apple and its chief executive, Tim Cook, since the 2011 death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs," The Post adds. "While the company has said that creating cutting-edge products remains core to its corporate philosophy, worries about its ability to innovate, combined with sinking profits, have contributed to a more than 20 percent stock slide from this time last year when it introduced the iPhone 5."
The company’s share price jumped as the unveiling event began but then fell a little, The Post notes.
The Post adds: "Apple is far from the only smartphone maker facing problems keeping fat profit margins and sky-high sales growth rates. The entire industry is struggling to find buyers for the most expensive — and most profitable — smartphone models as U.S. and Western European markets become saturated with existing smartphone owners."