Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com.
Apple has decided that there can, in fact, be more than one. The company announced today it is releasing two new iPhone designs: the iPhone 5S and the 5C.
The 5C starts at $99, with contract. In another first for Apple, the 5C comes swathed in variable shades of high molecular mass petrochemical polymers (aka plastic). The more expensive 5S, which starts at $199 with contract, also breaks new visual ground by coming in a golden, vaguely champagney color last seen in mid-1990s Mercedes sedans.
In terms of specs, the Verge has great rundowns of both the 5C and the 5S. In short, the 5C is “essentially an iPhone 5 inside a colored plastic shell with an improved front-facing camera and improved battery size”. The 5S has a faster processor, improved camera, and “an integrated fingerprint sensor in the new sapphire home button”.
Apple, says Horace Dediu, is broadening its portfolio to catch up in a segment of the market it has so far consciously avoided. “I think a lot of the momentum that has been lost in the past year in terms of sales growth has been because of the lack of low end”. The now-outdated 4S will be offered free with a two-year contract. Neil Irwin thinks that Apple aims “to compete with cheaper competitors among the cash-strapped around the world".