The iPhone 5C - only the price tag is low-cost

As expected, Apple unveiled a new more affordable iPhone, which, at just $99 in the US, will make owning an Apple device a reality for a host of new users. However, despite the small ticket, this is a very capable phone.

Available in lime green, strawberry pink, sky blue, lemon yellow, and, of course, Apple white, the phone is constructed from hard-coated polycarbonate for a seamless, almost sculpted finish and will be offered with a selection of silicone cases so that owners can, in the words of Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of marketing, “create exactly the look that you want.”

However, underneath the shiny, brightly-colored exterior is a pretty serious device that supports pretty much all global LTE and 4G network protocols for super-fast mobile internet. It also packs a four-inch full retina display and supports the latest version of Bluetooth for connecting to other devices, such as fitness trackers and speakers.

It also packs a better, longer lasting battery than the current iPhone 5 and offers a slightly smaller 8 megapixel camera with a 3x zoom. But the biggest news was that the device is expected to cost $99 in the US. Aimed as much at younger consumers as well as those suspicious of long-term contracts with network operators, in a move that surprised everyone, Apple is immediately dropping its existing flagship, the iPhone 5 to make way for the 5C and its big brother the 5S. However, it will continue to build and sell the iPhone 4S which is now essentially the entry-level iPhone.

The new handset is expected to hit the shelves in the US, UK and China on September 20.