Touted as the iPhone 5S lesser twin, the cheaper iPhone 5C is pegged for a worldwide glimpse on Sept 10, en route to its reported Sept 20 release date on select markets.
But as D-Day approaches, little is officially known about the supposed low-cost iOS 7 device with Apple successfully suppressing the details surrounding the 5C. It's all rumours, leaks and speculations so far though when the dots are connected - a picture is beamed out for millions of Apple watchers to appreciate.
While it's basically a collage, the image points to a definite direction that guides would-be buyers on what to expect and what not. Or when really the reportedly more affordable iPhone is hitting store shelves.
It is hoped that the quick iPhone 5C run down below provides a general snapshot of Apple's fresh thrust of reimagining the mass-market smartphone segment.
The release date questions
First concern is when. The iPhone 5S media event on Sept 10 reveals the clues. Analysts expect revelations that include the 5S, of course, the iOS 7 and possibly the iPhone 5C. Speculations will end at that point as Apple CEO Tim Cook is anticipated to uncloak the first two of his army of gadgets for 2013 and 2014.
While it is natural that the 5S will easily hog the limelight, the 5C launch is seen by analysts as crucial because it represents the tech giant's spirited push to get into the game that Samsung has been playing successfully in the past years.
Where the 5C will be initially available? The usual suspects are the U.S. and key markets around the world. It was initially suggested that emerging markets are the focus of the 5S release but new reports imply that China will not get the device until November 2013, indicating that Apple is following the usual course in pushing out the 5C - major destinations are preferred then other markets will follow in a phased rollout.
The 5C body-build
Is it really plastic? The likelihood is, it is considering that in using polycarbonate to house the 5S-cousin, it will be easier for Apple to mass produce the 5C with a significant bonus - lower costs thus affordable retail price.
Is it any cheaper in terms of quality and feel? Hardly as Apple is known to adhere only to upscale standard, which is a philosophy that covers even the minute details of iOS devices. Durability should also be top-notch as evident in recently leaked clips of iPhone 5C shells being subjected to torture tests.
Killer features and wider colour options
Killer features are given on the 5C since like the 5S, it is powered by iOS 7, which is brimming with all the new handset capabilities that Apple is packing with the mobile platform. The 5C rendition, however, is slightly stripped down as its components are more of mid-range relative to what are found on the 5S.
As for the body hue, the 5S is likely to come in three variants - black, white and gold - while the 5C is set to offer the rainbow approach consisting of white, blue, pink, yellow and green but no black, per reports by BGR.
The cash setback
Most analysts agree that the iPhone 5C will largely retail in unlocked versions and the price ranges between $300 and $400, which is not exactly cheap. Yet in the long run, the 5C will prove as the best priced iPhone that easily bests Apple's legacy handsets such as the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, productions of which are expected to wind down beginning Q3 2013.
Weeks or months after its late September release date, the iPhone 5C price tag is expected to reach a more solid level for consumers as telcos around the world start picking up the device, CNET said, and in the process dangle attractive subsidies to lure more subscribers.