CUPERTINO, United States / California - Apple unveiled two new iPhones on Tuesday in its bid to expand its share of the smartphone market, including one as low as US$99 (S$125.84) with a US carrier contract.
"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 low cost, the polycarbonate iPhone 5C with a steel frame "is beautiful."
"We took the same fanatical care with how the iPhone 5C feels in your hand," Ive said.
The iPhone 5C with 16 gigabytes of memory will sell for as low as US$99 with a US carrier contract - half the cost of earlier iPhone base models.
Analysts were keenly focused on the promise of an iPhone 5C to win over buyers in China and other developing markets where there is fierce competition from low-priced smartphones powered by Android.
The top-line iPhone 5S, which starts at US$199 with a contract, "is the most forward thinking phone we have ever created," said Apple vice president Phil Schiller.
"It is the gold standard in smartphones."