The iPhone 5C is a curious little phone… only because it's released by Apple. Were Samsung hawking this new device as its budget option then we wouldn't even bat an eyelid, but because it's Apple we're a little bit more circumspect. Can the company that prides itself on premium devices compete in this lower-cost segment?
Actually, it's a little unfair to say Apple can't compete at the lower end, as it's shown that with the iPod mini / nano that it can offer products to consumers at a lower cost without compromising too much on build quality.
Although we won't mention the original iPod shuffle…
The iPhone 5C features an all-new polycarbonate casing, with a design that's hewn from a single block of plastic with a steel cage thrust in there to help stability and improve antenna performance.
However beyond that we're really seeing a re-badged iPhone 5, which is no longer on sale thanks to being sacrificed for this new model. The CPU is an decent A6 chip, the screen is a 4-inch Retina display and the internal storage options are the standard 16GB and 32GB choices.
That said, this isn't a phone that's just made of recovered devices – it's a whole new handset. Some have wondered how Apple could ever think about making a non-premium device, but with the iPhone 5C it's made a phone that feel so different to the iPhone 5S that buyers won't feel like they're buying a rubbish version of that device.
Here's how the company made it so premium: keeping the cost higher. In the US it will be $99 and $199 for the contract options of 16GB and 32GB respectively. However, in the UK you'll be paying £479 for the privilege of a 16GB option, and £549 for the 32GB. That's more than theHTC Oneand Galaxy S4, depending on storage.