iPhone 5c: colourful but not cheap

The Apple iPhone 5c has arrived – and while it’s as colourful as expected, it isn’t as cheap as many thought it would be.

At the handset’s launch and that of its sibling iPhone 5s, vice-president of industrial design Jonathan Ive described the iPhone 5c as being “beautifully, unapologetically plastic”.

The new unibody design sees the back and sides hewn from a single slab of polycarbonate, and Apple claims that the newly steel-reinforced frame also acts as an antenna.

It’s set to arrive in a range of colours – blue, white, yellow, pink and green – that are designed to coordinate with iOS 7’s vibrant array of wallpapers.

iPhone 5c

Also available will be a selection of matching “soft-feel” rubber cases costing $29 apiece.

The plastic iPhone 5c had been tipped to be a budget option. While in the US it’s selling for half the price of the iPhone 5 on contract, SIM-free it’s £469 for the 16GB version and £549 for the 32GB version – only £80 less expensive than the iPhone 5s.

The true discount option may be the iPhone 4S. While Apple has stopped selling the iPhone 5, it will continue with its predecessor, selling the 8GB version for £349.

Familiar specs

Inside the iPhone 5c, iOS 7 makes its debut and will be powered by the same A6 processor as found in the iPhone 5. In addition, there’s an 8-megapixel Facetime HD camera, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4 and 4G compatibility.

Apple was particularly bullish about the handset’s global 4G compatibility, stating that it has “support for more LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world”.

The iPhone 5c will be available for pre-order from 13 September, and will be available for sale from 20 September.

For the iPhone 5c’s full specs, see our iPhone vs rivals comparison chart

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