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Apple introduces the iPhone 5C, a colourful alternative to the iPhone 5S

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 5C, a handset aimed at the lower-end of the market - as well as developing nations - that evokes memories of the iPhone 3GS and iPod touch.

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Many joked that the "C" in Apple's moniker simply stood for "cheap", but this unofficial title does hold some water. Unlike the 5S, the iPhone 5C trades in high quality unibody aluminium for a glossy polycarbonate outer shell that's available in a range of different colour options, including white, red, lime green, yellow, and blue, surrounding a new internal steal framework.

On the inside, specs aren't too far removed from last year's iPhone 5, with Apple’s own A6 processor at its heart, a 4-inch Retina display with a resolution of 1136x640, and an 8-megapixel camera on the back with an improved FaceTimeHD camera above the display.

Apple's cheaper phone includes a Lightning connector, just like the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, and iOS 7 will be preinstalled too. Apple will also be shipping the iPhone 5C with optional soft touch cases, that in truth don't look all that protctive considering they're riddled with holes. Each case will retail for $29 in the US.

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The man previously responsible for so many of Apple’s hardware designs, Sir Jony Ive, was asked to turn his hand to software design for this new version of iOS, creating an inherently different look to any previous iteration of the company’s mobile platform. With a more vibrant colour palette and a flatter, almost cartoon-like aesthetic, iOS 7 looks to complement the punchy colour choices of the iPhone 5C - perhaps even more so than the more subtle options offered by the 5S.

Apple will begin selling the iPhone 5C on September 20th. Pre-orders will begin on September 13th, with the 16GB model priced at £469.

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