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$99 iPhone

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Apple has officially unveiled the long-rumored iPhone 5C, a less-expensive model to the flagship iPhone 5S, which was also announced. The iPhone 5C will be available in five colors -- white, green, blue, pink, and yellow -- with the 16GB model priced at $99 and the 32GB version costing $199 (with two-year contract). Sadly, yes, there is no super cheap contract-free version.

As expected, the phone has a plastic back. Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice president of design, described the iPhone 5C as "beautifully, unapologetically plastic. Multiple parts have been reduced to a single polycarbonate component whose service is continuous and seamless."

The 5C has a steel frame under the plastic and, according to those who have held one, the smooth finish feels very hand-friendly. Hopefully it'll stay scratch-resistant.

The curved edges are a bit of a return to the older plastic iPhones, but the phone's squarer design still comes through: it has a flat back. It's a shinier, smoother, thicker device than last year's fifth-gen iPod Touch.

If you're wondering what makes a 5C different from the now-discontinued iPhone 5, it's basically this: new colors and feel, better front-facing FaceTime HD camera and a slightly larger battery. Oh, and there's no 64GB version. You'll have to get the 5S for that.




















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