Cupertino, California: Apple unveiled two new iPhones on Tuesday in its bid to expand its share of the smartphone market, including one as low as USD 99 with a US carrier contract.
"The business has become so large that this year we are going to replace the iPhone 5 and we are going to replace it with two new designs," Apple chief Tim Cook announced at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters.
The top-line iPhone 5S "is the most forward thinking phone we have ever created," said Apple vice president Phil Schiller.
"It is the gold standard in smartphones."
Apple also broadened its color palette, announcing the low-cost phone in blue white, pink yellow and green, and the top-line model in silver, gold and a new "space gray."
The iPhone 5C with 16 gigabytes of memory will sell for as low as $99 with a US carrier contract, half the cost of earlier iPhone base models.
Analysts were keenly focused on the promise of an iPhone 5C to win over buyers in China and other developing markets where there is fierce competition from low-priced smartphones powered by Google's Android operating system.
Apple designer Jony Ive said that despite the low cost, the polycarbonate iPhone 5C "is beautiful."
"We took the same fanatical care with how the iPhone 5C feels in your hand," Ive said.
Schiller said the 5S model includes a speedier chip which brings up the computing power from 32 to 64 bits.
"It has over a billion transistors in it," he said, adding that the device will be "about twice as fast in graphics and computing power and about 40 times faster than the original iPhone."
The 5S will also have improved battery life, with some 10 hours of talk time, or 40 hours of music listening, Schiller added.
Apple also said its iOS 7 software will debut September 18. It includes with a free iTunes Radio Service featuring more than 200 stations "and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store," Apple announced earlier this year.
The smartphone market is now dominated by Android devices, with roughly three-fourths of all handsets, but a forecast by research firm IDC suggested Apple will increase its share this year to 17.9 percent from 16.9 percent.
First Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 00:29