iPhone 5c: Apple goes budget and brings back plastic

Making history, Apple has for the first time announced a plastic iPhone. And, as months of rumours have claimed, it's officially called the iPhone 5c.

Apple's iPhone 5c - a smartphone aimed at developing markets like China and customers on a budget in the US, UK and other areas - will be available in green, white, blue, pink and yellow colour options. As for pricing, it will cost $99 (£63) for 16GB or $199 for 32GB. That's on a two-year contract.

"It's made with all the incredible technology of the iPhone 5," says Phil Schiller, senior vice-president of worldwide marketing at Apple. "You won't see seams, or part lines, or joins... The entire back and sides are made from a single part."

The iPhone 5c features a hard-coated polycarbonate body, though it has a steel-reinforced frame on the inside. It also sports a 4-inch Retina display with integrated touch, full RGB standard and support for widescreen video. In a promotional video for the iPhone 5c, Apple's design chief Jony Ive called the handset "beautifully, unapologetically plastic."

Apple has also clarified that the iPhone 5c's battery is slightly larger than the iPhone 5's - and it has the same processor (A6 processor) and rear-facing camera (8-megapixel) as the iPhone 5. Other specs include support for more LTE bands, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a new FaceTime HD camera on the front, backside illumination, etc.

To complement the all-new iPhone 5c, Apple unveiled soft, matte, microfibre-lined cases with circular patterns that let "splashes of colour show through". They are available in the five iPhone 5c colours and cost $29 each. The 5C will also be available on 20 September in stores, presumably alongside its custom cases.

Pocket-lint is live from Apple's 2013 iPhone event. Stick to our Apple hub for the latest, where we'll bring you a hands-on of the new devices very soon.