Apple has launched two new iPhones, one for early adopters and one for budget crowd
Tech journalist Stuart Miles says Apple is staying within its remit of keeping things simple
Most importantly, the company is expanding in new markets like China and Japan
For the first time, Apple has launched not one, but two iPhones at its now-annual iPhone launch event.
As the rumors predicted, Apple has split its phone line into a premium all singing, all dancing flagship phone for the early tech adopters and one that will play to the so-called “budget” crowd looking for an iPhone with a more colourful, youthful approach.
The expected result? A successful one. The iPhone 5C gives Apple an affordable phone for those that it has yet to lure into buying an iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. At the same time it has helped create a greater gulf between the two devices that was never really there with the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5.
Now, early tech adopters who opt for the iPhone 5S – compared to their parents or kids that will more than likely opt for the iPhone 5C – can claim a faster, more powerful phone. It has greater connectivity, an abundance of sensors, including the new addition of fingerprint scanner called TouchID, and more premium materials.
It’s a clever move from Apple as it protects its justification for higher prices. It has, at the same time, created a phone for “the people,” that in reality is just as powerful as the previous flagship, the iPhone 5, at a knocked-down price.
Not that the competition will be saying that. SIM-free, the new iPhone 5C is still expensive compared to the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4.
It might be budget, but Apple believes even this “cheaper” phone is the best on the market. Even though it comes with an “unashamedly plastic shell,” in the words of Jony Ive at Apple, you are still going to pay for it.
That shouldn’t be a problem. In the hand, it feels great and very much akin to the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS we all raved about over five years ago.
New hardware combined with new software is certainly enough for Apple at the moment. The naysayers will say that it’s not, that Apple has failed to innovate here and that there isn’t much to woo you from Android with its treats and tricks offered by Samsung, Sony, and HTC.
Apple’s approach has always been about simplicity, about delivering a device that is easy to use, a device that is the best it can make.
If you look at that remit, Apple’s done it again. It hasn’t allowed itself to be sidetracked with gimmicks that sound impressive but are never used.
Android users will most likely tell you that they’ve never used face recognition to unlock their phone, although they’ve probably tried it.
There is no eye-scrolling tech, movie modes that automatically make films from your footage, or ways to determine what wine you are drinking by snapping the label.
That, from a marketing message, could make the playability of the two devices sound limiting. But Apple prefers the tried and tested solid approach. The phone just works.
These two phones might sway some Android users across and probably sweep up most of the former BlackBerry users.
More importantly, they will open the iPhone to a global audience that is looking for its first smartphone, especially in the new markets like China and Japan.