Investors were hoping that a low-priced iPhone would help Apple to expand in developing countries. But shares are -2.8% following a presentation where Apple CEO Tim Cook played up the features of his new iPhone 5C and 5S, but with higher prices than some analysts had anticipated. The company calls the 5S — available in silver, gold, and gray but not black — “the most forward-thinking phone ever made.” It will be the first mobile phone with a 64-bit chip, the A7, which the company says is 40 times faster than the one in the first iPhone and great for gamers. It will have a separate chip to handle an accelerometer to help the iPhone record the kinds of fitness information others provide on dedicated devices. It also boasts an improved battery that can power 10 hours of talk time, 10 hours of LTE browsing, and 250 hours standby. The new camera has a larger sensor, two LED flashes, and automatic image stabilization. A “burst mode” can shoot 10 pictures in a second, and video also can handle 120 frames per second for replay in slo-mo. The company confirmed that the phone will have a fingerprint security sensor, called Touch ID, that’s in the home button. It can learn multiple fingerprints — and can be used to buy media on iTunes without a passcode. With a two-year contract the 16 GB model will go for $199, 32 GB for $299, and 64 GB for $399.
The more budget-minded iPhone 5C will be available in green, white, blue, pink, and orange. It will have a front-facing HD camera, live photo filters, 3X photo zoom, and larger pixels. With a two-year phone contract, the 16 GB model will cost $99 while the 32GB one will go for $199. But without a contract, the 5C costs $549 — analysts had been looking for a number closer to $400. Consumers can pre-order the 5C beginning September 13, and the phones will be available September 20. Apple will continue to offer the iPhone 4S, which many carriers probably will offer for free. Apple also says that on September 18 it will distribute an update to its iOS 7 for devices going back to the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Among other things, it will update its Siri service so users can select a male or female voice and use it to search Twitter and Wikipedia.
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