Apple unveils iPhone 5C, 5S at launch event

5C is first "budget" phone the tech giant has made

Apple unveiled its new iPhone 5C and 5S on Tuesday

Apple unveiled two new iPhones Tuesday, an upscale iPhone "5S" and an iPhone "5C" -- the technology company's first "budget" model.

The high-end 5S is a refresh on the current iPhone 5 model and comes in champagne gold, grey and slate. The phone features a fingerprint reader for added security, has an updated processor, will run the latest version of the iOS mobile software, iOS 7, and has a beefed up camera.

The 5S follows Apple's traditional price structure: $200 for at 16GB, $300 for 32GB, $400 for 64 GB and will be available in the U.S., Canada and Australia on Sept. 20.

iOS 7 will be available for download for current iPhone 4, 4S and 5 models on Sept. 18.

The redesigned software announced in June relies on simple graphical elements in neon and pastel colors. Gone is the effort to make the icons look like three-dimensional, embossed objects -- a tactic known as "skeuomorphism," that was favored by Jobs. This will be the second iPhone model that Apple has released since Jobs' death in October 2011.

The cheaper 5C model comes in a variety of different colors, as opposed to Apple's traditional black and white options, and is made from plastic. It will also run the iOS 7 software, but has a paired down set of features compared to the 5S.

A 16GB iPhone 5C will go for $100, and a 32GB for $200. There was no mention of a 64GB iPhone 5C and is available for pre-order on Friday.

The cheaper model could be a way for Apple to gain marketshare among more budget-conscious consumers who are wary of spending $600 on a smartphone without a two-year contract with one of the big mobile carriers.

Apple had remained characteristically tight-lipped ahead of the event in California where the models were released, but 'leaked' photos published across media showed images of the new phones.

In an unusual move, Apple invited media to another event in Beijing that will be held a few hours after the gathering at its headquarters is scheduled to adjourn. The Beijing event has added to speculation that Apple has lined up a deal to sell its new iPhones through China Mobile, the country's largest wireless carrier.

A video replay of the launch event will also be broadcast a few hours later in Tokyo and Berlin.

Apple's timetable for rolling out products has vexed many investors who have watched the company's growth slow and profit margins decrease. Meanwhile, a bevy of smartphone makers, most of whom rely on Google Inc.'s free Android software, release wave after wave of devices that cost less than the iPhone.

Al Jazeera and wire services

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