CUPERTINO, Calif. — Has Apple grown too big for just one iPhone.
That is why Apple is releasing two new iPhones this month instead of just one, including a cheaper model aimed at less wealthy countries where new Apple phones have been desired but are out of reach because of their price.
The lower-cost model, the iPhone 5C (the C for color) comes in a plastic case and has the same features as the now-discontinued iPhone 5. The fancier model, the iPhone 5S, comes in aluminum and includes a faster processor and a fingerprint sensor for security, among other features. The iPhone 5S costs $200 with a contract, and the iPhone 5C costs $100 with a contract.
But at full price without a contract, which is how many overseas carriers allow people to pay for phones, the iPhone 5C costs $550 — only $100 less than the iPhone 5S. That is far higher than the range of $300 to $400 that many analysts believed could help Apple against lower-cost competition.
“I thought the 5C could come in at a lower price point to really drive more unit sales,” said Michael Walkley, a technology analyst for Canaccord Genuity, an investment bank.
Both iPhones will be available in the United States, Japan and China and other countries on Sept. 20. Apple announced a partnership with NTT Docomo of Japan, but not a highly anticipated partnership with China Mobile, the biggest carrier in China. It will be the first time Apple has been able to release its phones at the same time globally.
Investor reaction to the new iPhones was muted. Apple’s stock price finished the day down 2.3 percent.
The new iPhones represent a shift in strategy for Apple.
For years, Apple has offered multiple flavors of each of its products other than the iPhone. It offers many Mac notebooks, multiple desktop computers, several iPods and two sizes of iPads.
Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, recently said that each iPod model had a reason to exist, like the iPod Mini, a tiny device that did not have much storage. It turned in surprisingly strong sales, attracting athletes and people who listened to music occasionally. The classic iPod, with more storage, eventually shifted to become a music player for hard-core audio fans who wanted all their albums on one device.
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