Apple has revealing its most colorful of its smartphones to date: the iPhone 5c. Sporting a look that's nearly indistinguishable from the previous iPhone 5 – aside from a much broader color spectrum, that is – Apple's latest smart device was designed especially with the new iOS 7 in mind and boasts a slew of new features.

Here are the highlights of the iPhone 5c:

  • Fully integrated iOS 7, which includes a new camera app and a suite of productivity programs (more on that later)
  • 4-inch retina display with an integrated touch screen
  • Constructed from a single piece of hard-coated polycarbonate with a steel-reinforced frame, which also acts as an antenna
  • Environmentally-friendly manufacturing ensures it's free of arsenic and mercury
  • Uses the same A6 processor and rear-facing 8MP camera as the iPhone 5
  • Has an improved battery life from the iPhone 5 and a new FaceTime HD camera with larger 1.9μ pixels and better backside illumination
  • Apple claims the iPhone 5c supports more LTE bands than any smartphone on the planet, plus connections for 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5Ghz, as well as Bluetooth 4.0
  • Available in blue, white, pink, yellow, and green colors. Apple is also releasing a series of equally colorful silicone cases for US$29 each that allow for some custom color combinations
  • With a two-year contract, the 16GB model will cost $99, while the 32GB will cost $199

The iPhone 5c will be released on Sept. 20, with pre-orders available starting Sept. 13.

Where the iPhone 5c fits in

For weeks now, the rumor mill has been predicting the iPhone 5c would be a cheaper alternative to the iPhone 5, but it looks like that was only partly correct. Instead, Apple seems intent on replacing last year's smartphone entirely in its lineup before it becomes an older, discounted model. Even the company's website and online store appear to have been scrubbed clean of almost any mention of the original iPhone 5.

On a more positive note, consumers who were waiting for the iPhone 5 to drop in price can now pick up the same device with some minor improvements, such as a larger battery, a better front-facing camera, and a wider range of color options. The iPhone 5c is still launching at a lower cost than the upgraded iPhone 5s, but even a $99 price tag with a contract doesn't make it quite the budget-friendly iPhone that was previously expected. Strangely, that title may rest on the iPhone 4s at the moment, which will be offered for free with a contract once these two new phones are released.

Source: Apple

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