The iPhone 5C is Apple's long-rumored "low-cost" iPhone. In many ways, the 5C is very similar to the iPhone 5, which was 2012's top-of-the-line iPhone model. The primary differences between the two models are the casings and slight improvements to the battery and camera.
The most visible difference between the two models is that the 5C has a plastic body that comes in multiple bright colors (the 5S uses a metal body in three muted colors). The 5C also doesn't offer the 5S's high-end features like the fingerprint scanner built into the Home button. A less visible, but equally important, difference is the 5C's pricing. Most phones are sold with prices subsidized by phone companies. The 5C's price, with subsidy, is much lower than previous models.
iPhone 5C Hardware Features
Some of the most significant new features in the iPhone 5C are:
- Upgraded user-facing camera
- New, colorful casings
- Slightly bigger battery than iPhone 5
Other elements of the phone are the same as on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, including the 4-inch Retina Display screen, 4G LTE networking, 802.11n Wi-Fi, panoramic photos, and the Lightning connector. Standard iPhone features such as FaceTime, A-GPS, Bluetooth, and audio and video, are all present, too.
Like its sibling the 5S, the iPhone 5C has two cameras, one on its back and the other facing the user for FaceTime video chats. The user-facing camera on the 5C offers 1.2 megapixel photos and 720p HD video, while the back camera is the same as on the iPhone 5: 8 megapixel images and 1080p HD video.
Some of the significant software additions in the 5C, thanks to iOS 7, include:
- Control Center
- iTunes Radio
- Updated Camera and Photos apps
- FaceTime Audio
Capacity and Price
Because the iPhone 5C is designed to be a "low-cost iPhone," its list price is hundreds lower than 5S's list price. As a result, the 5C can be purchased with a standard two-year phone contract for:
16GB - US$99
32GB - US$199
Talk: 10 hours on 3G
Internet: 10 hours on 4G LTE, 8 hours on 3G, 10 hours on Wi-Fi
Video: 10 hours
Audio: 40 hours
Size and Weight
4.90 inches tall by 2.33 inches wide by 0.35 inches deep
Weight: 4.65 ounces
Release date: Sept. 20, 2013 in
The phone will be available in 100 countries by Dec. 2013
Discontinued: N/A, still being sold
Starting with the iPhone 4S, Apple established a pattern of keeping its older models for sale, but at reduced prices. For instance, when the iPhone 5 was released the 4S and 4 were still available, for $99 and free (both with two-year contracts), respectively.
Thanks to the release of the iPhone 5C, that pattern has changed. Now, the 8GB iPhone 4S will be available for free when purchased with a two-year contract.