Apple tailors two new iPhones for world market

Apple tailors two new iPhones for world market
It is priced to bring one of the industry's costliest smartphones within reach of the masses in poorer emerging markets.

CUPERTINO, United States / California - Apple on Tuesday unveiled two new iPhones, fielding a slick new top-end model along with one aimed at budget-conscious smartphone shoppers around the world.

"The business has become so large that this year we are going to replace the iPhone 5 and we are going to replace it with two new designs," Apple chief Tim Cook announced at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters.

Apple will begin taking orders on Friday, and on September 20 the two devices will go on sale in the United States, Australia, Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan and Singapore.

The iPhone 5C is part of Apple's bid to counter the flood of low-cost smartphones from rivals, most of which use the Google Android operating system.

Apple designer Jony Ive said that despite the lower cost, the polycarbonate iPhone 5C with a steel frame "is beautiful."

The iPhone 5C with 16 gigabytes of memory will start at US$99 (S$125.84) with a two-year US carrier contract and US$549 without a contract - US$100 less than previous iPhone base models.

"The 5C is a no-compromise device," Gartner analyst Van Baker told AFP after trying out Apple's new phones. "It is just in a plastic case instead of a metal case, and they basically reduce the price by the cost of materials."

But Baker said it was an "open question" whether the price cut for the iPhone 5C would be enough to attract customers in emerging markets.

"Anyone expecting Apple to come truly down-market with the iPhone 5C was fooling themselves," said Ovum analyst Tony Cripps.

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