New Budget iPhone Unveiled Starting at $99

new iphone 5

For small business owners seeking a lower cost iPhone, take note. Apple unveiled the iPhone 5c yesterday. The long awaited budget iPhone will start at just $99 with contract and will go on sale Sept. 20.

The New Budget iPhone Up Close

Aside from the price, the dressed-down version of the popular smartphone offers other departures from the norm. The phone has a plastic shell, but Apple has glossed over the cheaper covering by offering it in five bright colors: white, pink, yellow, blue, and green.

In an official announcement on Apple’s website yesterday in conjunction with a special keynote announcement at Apple’s Cupertino, CA, headquarters, Philip Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing said:

“iPhone 5c is everything iPhone 5 was and more, in an all-new design packed with great features, iPhone 5c is designed with a beautiful polycarbonate enclosure that looks and feels so solid in your hand.”

Reviewers agree the phone is in many ways a recasting of the iPhone 5 at a cheaper price. Features include:

  • 4-inch diagonal widescreen multi-touch display
  • A 8MP iSight rear-mounted camera capable of shooting 1080p HD video
  • A FaceTime HD camera in front
  • A slightly larger battery which Apple claims in specs will be good for up to 10 hours of 4G LTE data download (but obviously battery life will depend on what you are doing with the phone)The new phone runs Apple’s new iOS 7 operating system and will be available from carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and from the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Stores.Though the phone starts at $99, this will get you only a 16 GB model. The 32GB version of the phone will cost you $199. For more watch the below review from CNET.


Image: Apple


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

13 Reactions
  1. Could this be a sign of weakness in Apple? Usually, the only time a company offers a cheap version of anything, they are in financial trouble or are trying to raise a lot of capital quickly.

  2. Hi Pierce,
    Thanks for your comment! Clearly Apple seems to be responding to competitors who are already offering cheaper alternatives to the iPhone. But one of the most interesting questions is this: will Apple still be able to convince consumers to pay premium for the rest of their products once they’ve so clearly demonstrated how inexpensively they can be made?

  3. Budget iPhone FTW!

    Seriously, the only thing prevent me from buying an iPhone is the price tag. But the thing is, the “classic” iPhone’s look can’t be replaced with the colorful plastics iPhone 5c sports.

    Dilemma, dilemma…

    But I agree with Shawn: Will this budget iPhone impact Apple’s brand positioning, as consumers now know that iPhone can actually assembled on the budget?

  4. Nice. At $99, I would not think twice on getting this phone. But I am wondering why it is so cheap. Ed may be right that Apple may be having some problems. The question is “Why?”. Their market is supposed to be those people who loves to be unique and stand out. And then all of the sudden they make it cheaper and common?

  5. First, at one time in (some of) our lives, people were paying $1,200 for a VCR …

    Secondly, I would not look at this as a sign of weakness, just entering a market that’s already ripe. There are still a lot of iPhone 3s roaming the Earth. The same with the 4s and they’re actively bought and sold for more than this new phone.

    There are a lot of people looking for a smartphone at this price and they’re getting them. Why not be a seller?

  6. Ed may be right. Apple could be facing competition from other brands like Samsung. The other day, I was window-shopping in an electronics shop and saw microwave ovens, laptops, fans, etc made by Samsung.

  7. I wonder if this is such a good move for Apple. What makes Apple distinct is the coolness factor. Its products have become status symbols and social statements (or at least they are perceived to be) and the high price point only reinforces those ideas. Buying Apple products feels exclusive, club-like.

    A cheaper iphone may make budget-conscious consumers happy, but it at the same time cheapens the brand. Apple just make the club open to all.