GADGET DESIGNER Apple announced its lower-end iPhone 5C handset on Tuesday, with its sights set firmly on the mid-range Android market.
However, its pricing is much higher than was anticipated, which could make it hard for Apple to get a foothold in the affordable smartphone market.
As months of rumours have suggested, Apple's iPhone 5C is much more colourful than previous smartphones from the company, with the firm making the budget handset available in blue, white, pink, yellow and green. Apple boasts that the back of the handset is constructed from a single piece of polycarbonate plastic, and it will offer the phone with Lumia-esque £25 cases for doubling up on different colours.
The iPhone 5C specifications are nearly identical to those of the iPhone 5, despite speculation that the firm would cut back specifications to keep the price of the phone low. The handset features the same 4in Retina display as its flagship predecessor, and is powered by the same dual-core 1.3GHz A6 chip.
Unlike the iPhone 5 however, the iPhone 5C will ship with Apple's new iOS 7 operating system preinstalled. Apple also announced today that iOS 7 will be coming to older devices, including the iPhone 4 and iPad 2, on 18 September.
The iPhone 5C also features the same 8MP camera as the iPhone 5, although Apple has upgraded the snapper on the front to a full HD Facetime camera. Battery life has been slightly improved too, with Apple claiming 10 hours of talk time.
Apple's iPhone 5C will go up for pre-order in the UK on 13 September, with shipping set to begin on 20 September. The 16GB model will cost £469 SIM-free, while the higher capacity 32GB model will fetch £549.
While this might not be as cheap as expected, it sees Apple setting its sights firmly on clawing back market share from its budget Android competition. µ