Observers say the firm is “at pains to stress its quality and power”, experts said as the tech giant introduced two new iPhones in an apparent bid to claim ground from its rivals.
But others suggested the tech giant’s decision to introduce a budget device “could well be the trump card needed to trounce Android’s hand”.
Markets however were unimpressed, and Apple’s shares tanked as new iPhones fail to dazzle.
Shares slid 6% as a pricier-than-expected 5C extinguished hopes of a major expansion into lower-end markets such as China, while a fingerprint scanner-equipped premium version fell short on hardware advancements. The 5C’s price appeared too lofty to fend off rivals in emerging markets. If the drop in Apple’s share price holds, the fall would be biggest single-day slide since Jan 24.
However, Stuart Miles, editor of gadget website Pocket-Lint, predicted the cheap device would be snapped up but could be viewed as a new take on an earlier iPhone. “The 5C is obviously a device that is aimed at being a lot more colourful and youthful and designed to appeal to a global market. I think it will sell incredibly well. However, those that want to criticise it will say that ultimately it is a souped-up version of the iPhone 3G.”
Mr Miles predicted the 5S would also become a popular handset at a time when “nobody else is doing fingerprint scanning”.
“There are no gimmicks here. You’ll use the scanner even if it’s just to unlock your phone,” he said.
Adrian Drury, an analyst a research firm Ovum, said the high-end model is a “halo device designed to set a new bar for mobile computing”. “While the iPhone 5C is the new lower cost device in the range, Apple is at pains to stress its quality and power,” he said.
The iPhone 5C marks Apple’s first departure from high-end devices.
- The 5C comes in five colours — blue, green, pink, yellow and white.
- It is modelled on the iPhone 5 and features a four-inch retina display and an eight megapixel camera.
- It is equipped with a new FaceTime HD camera and the iOS 7 operating system, dubbed “the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone”.
- The polycarbonate body comes with a steel reinforced frame.
- The phone is 59.2mm x 124.4mm. It weighs 132g.
- Apple says the phone is compatible with more 4G bands than any other smartphone in the world.
- The handset delivers 10 hours of talk time on 3G networks; up to 10 hours of web browsing on wi-fi and 4G networks and up to eight hours on 3G; up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback.
- iPhone 5C will be available in the UK for a suggested retail price of £469 (€558) for the 16GB model and £549 for the 32GB model. No prices or release dates are yet available for Ireland.