Apple launches iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C

Following months of rumours and leaks, Apple has officially launched two new smartphones, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, at an event in California.

As widely expected, the 5C (above) is a lower spec, cheaper offering; the first time Apple has undercut its flagship with an alternative handset.

The 5C will come in either 16GB or 32Gb and is available in red, green, blue, yellow and white.

The device features a 4in retina display, 8-megapixel iSight camera (the same as that currently used by the iPhone 5 and 4S) and a new front facing FaceTime HD camera.

For 4G subscribers, the 5C will also have more LTE bands than any other smartphone, offering up to 100Mbs download speed.

Introducing the iPhone 5S (below), Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP of worldwide marketing, said: "The 5S is the most forward thinking phone we've ever created. It's packed with incredible technologies."

The outer case is made from high grade aluminium, and will be available in three colours - silver, black, and champagne gold.

The 5S features a brand new SOC (system on a chip) called the A7, which has a powerful desktop standard 64-bit processor, the first of its kind to be featured in a smartphone. The A7 is up to two times as fast as the iPhone 5 at CPU and graphics tasks.

The high end device will also feature an upgraded camera, with a 15 per cent bigger sensor than that on the iPhone 5, with larger 1.5 micron pixels, autofocus matrix metering, 'TrueTone' colour metering and a burst mode.

Also confirmed is the much talked about fingerprint recognition system. Made from sapphire crystal, it will be built into the home screen button at the base of the device. Users will be able to unlock their phone through touch recognition, and even authorise iTunes purchases.

Apple also trumped the environmental credentials of the 5S and 5C, with both featuring a mercury free display, arsenic free glass, as well as being PVC free and "highly recyclable".

Online pre-order for the 5C will open on 13 September with both devices available from the 20 September in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan and Singapore.

Stay tuned for more on pricing and availability.