Apple's latest iPhones will come in a bevy of colors and two distinct designs, a cheaper one made of plastic and another that aims to be "the gold standard of smartphones" and reads your fingerprint.
Apple unveiled the latest iPhone models, available Sept. 20, during an event Tuesday at its headquarters. The new iPhones arrive at a time when rival phones from Samsung and other manufacturers are challenging Apple in the competitive smartphone market. Research firm Gartner estimates that Apple had a 14.4 percent share of the world's smartphone market in the second quarter of this year, No. 2 behind Samsung's 31.7 percent.
The cheaper iPhone 5C will be available in five colors — green, blue, yellow, pink and white. CEO Tim Cook calls it "more fun and colorful" than any other iPhone. The 5C has a 4-inch Retina display and is powered by Apple's A6 chip. It also has an 8-megapixel camera, live photo filters and a rear cover that lights up.
The iPhone 5C will cost $99 for a 16-gigabyte model and $199 for a 32-gigabyte model with a two-year wireless contract. The phone is expected to help Apple boost sales in China and other areas where people don't have as much money to spend on new gadgets as they do in the U.S. and Europe.
The second phone, the 5S, is "the most forward-looking phone we have ever created," said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple. It will come in silver, gold and "space gray" and run a new chip, the A7, which is up to twice as fast as the A6.
The camera in the 5S received some major upgrades, including several automatic features designed to produce better photos. It has larger pixels and a larger aperture, which helps capture more light.
The camera, called iSight, has "auto image stabilization," which helps avoid blurry pictures, and a slow-motion camera for video. A "burst mode" can take 10 frames per second as long as you hold your finger on the shutter, then find the best one in your camera roll.
The 5S also includes "Touch ID," which reads fingerprints at a "detailed level," Schiller said. He said it is "fun and easy" to teach the 5S about your fingerprint and once you do, you can just touch the home button to unlock the phone. The company said fingerprints will not be stored on its servers.
For buyers entering a two-year contract with a wireless carrier, the phone will cost $199 for 16 gigabytes of memory, $299 for 32 and $399 for 64.
Apple also said its next mobile operating system, iOS 7, will be available as a free download Sept. 18.
The new system can be downloaded on the iPhone 4 and later models, as well as on the tablets beginning with the iPad 2.