Apple iPhone 5s, 5c Release Date Arrives: $100 Price Drop Announced By Virgin Mobile

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Apple fans looking to buy a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c at a cheaper price are in luck: Virgin Mobile USA, the prepaid brand that leverages Sprint’s cellular network, is now offering a $100 price drop from normal unsubsidized pricing for both new smartphones, just one day after the phones’ official release date through the carrier.

Even though Virgin Mobile USA is at a disadvantage since Sprint’s LTE network is far behind competitors in terms of spe ed and availability, plus the iPhone 5s on Sprint/Virgin Mobile USA is CDMA-only, the $100 price drop plus the lower monthly fees are clearly appealing to those consumers who want but can’t readily afford Apple’s luxury iPhone.

The iPhone 5c, which houses many of the same specs from last year’s iPhone 5 in a durable (and colorful) plastic enclosure, has seen its unsubsidized price of $549 for 16 GB of storage knocked down to $449. The unsubsidized price of the higher-end iPhone 5s has also dropped from $649 to $549 through Virgin Mobile USA.

The $100 price drop also applies to other storage capacities: The iPhone 5s will release for $649 and $749 for 32 GB and 64 GB of storage, respectively, while the iPhone 5c, which is only available in 16 GB and 32 GB, will sell its 32 GB model for $549.

The 16 GB versions of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will release with the $100 price discount online and in retail stores, but Virgin Mobile USA will only release the 32 GB storage capacities for both phones, plus the 64 GB iPhone 5s, through the company’s website.

Many Apple fans have already taken advantage of Virgin Mobile’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c offer. Just like the public release date last month, the gold iPhone 5s is out of stock in every storage capacity, while the silver iPhone 5s is sold out of its 16 GB capacity. For the iPhone 5c, Virgin Mobile USA has already sold out of the white, green and pink 32 GB models, as well as the yellow iPhone 5c in both storage options. At the time of this writing, the blue iPhone 5c is the only phone still available in both 16 GB and 32 GB.

The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have been massively popular since their public release date on Sept. 20. Apple announced sales of 9 million units of both models within the first three days of its release, which nearly doubled last year’s record of 5 million iPhone 5 units sold during the same span. Apple didn't release specific sales figures for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, but Boston-based Localytics suggested the iPhone 5s was roughly 3.4 times more popular than the iPhone 5c in the U.S., and roughly 3.7 times more popular internationally.

Gold was apparently a big factor behind Apple’s record-breaking iPhone release, with many reports indicating higher-than-normal demand compared to the “grotesquely unavailable” supply, which may have been a deliberate strategic move. Many consumers who pre-ordered or ordered the gold iPhone 5s online have been told to expect shipments in October, as The Wall Street Journal says Apple plans to increase production of the gold iPhone 5S by about “one-third” to meet demand.

About The iPhone 5C

The iPhone 5c either replicates or improves upon the features in its predecessor, the iPhone 5, but there are a few noticeable differences. First, Apple has replaced the all-aluminum unibody enclosure of the iPhone 5 with a reinforced polycarbonate solution, and the iPhone 5c will also release in five different colors instead of two (black and white), including blue, green, yellow, pink and white.

Inside the shell of the iPhone 5c, most of the specs look identical to those in the iPhone 5. Running on the same A6 chip, the iPhone 5c features the same 4-inch Retina display, the same 8-megapixel camera with 2.4 aperture and single-LED flash, and will also run iOS 7 upon its release. Apple has improved a few features in the iPhone 5c, including the front-facing FaceTime camera and the phone's battery, and the iPhone 5c also supports 13 LTE bands, which is more than any other current smartphone (besides its cousin, the iPhone 5s).

About The iPhone 5S                            

The iPhone 5s features the same 4-inch Retina display and chamfered diamond-cut edges, but the phone also comes with a number of new innards. The iPhone 5s also features a new A7 processor -- with CPU performance 40 times faster and GPU performance 56 times faster than the original iPhone -- and Open GL, just like the new Nexus 7. More notable, however, the iPhone 5s comes equipped with Apple's new M7 chip, which contains all the motion-tracking hardware Apple needs to make its iWatch a reality. By packing so many components into the M7 motion co-processor, including an accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, the M7 can continuously measure motion data for the newest generation of health and fitness apps.

The iPhone 5s also features a slightly modified battery for greater life, a new and improved camera system packed with new features and technologies that make for better quality images and videos, and a fingerprint sensor called Touch ID, which lets users authenticate ownership and user passwords by simply holding their thumbs on the iPhone’s signature home button.

What do you think of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c? Would you purchase an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c with a $100 discount, even if that means using Sprint’s network? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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