In what’s been classed as a ‘make or break’ event for Apple, the tech firm has unveiled a cut-price handset called the iPhone 5C as well as a high-end model called iPhone 5S.

The release of the iPhone 5C marks a step away from Apple’s luxe image.

Many believe the move is a desperate bid to poach Samsung buyers, as the Korean company and its plastic, cheaper handsets go from strength to strength.

Speaking at the event, Apple’s Tim Cook told a small crowd at the firm’s Cupertino headquarters: I’m going to talk about iPhone – some of you may have been expecting this,’ said Cook.

‘Previously we have lowered the price – but now we are going to replace the iPhone 5 with not one but two new designs.

‘A year ago we introduced the iPhone 5, and it’s been the most successful device we’ve ever done. It took our iPhone business to an entirely new level,’ continued Cook.

Apple traditionally releases a brand new handset one year, before releasing a follow-up model with incremental changes the next, for example, the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S.

This year, however, was the first time Apple had been linked to two new handsets at the same event.

The new handsets will be shipped with the iOS 7 software, announced in June.

Apple recapped the latest version of its mobile software at the event.

‘iOS 7 is the latest version, and next month we will ship the 700 millionth iOS device. iOS 7 will quickly become the world’s most popular mobile operating system.

Speaking at the event, Apple’s Tim Cook told a small crowd at the firm’s Cupertino headquarters: I’m going to talk about iPhone – some of you may have been expecting this,’ said Cook.

‘Previously we have lowered the price – but now we are going to replace the iPhone 5 with not one but two new designs.

‘A year ago we introduced the iPhone 5, and it’s been the most successful device we’ve ever done. It took our iPhone business to an entirely new level,’ continued Cook.

Apple traditionally releases a brand new handset one year, before releasing a follow-up model with incremental changes the next, for example, the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S.

This year, however, was the first time Apple had been linked to two new handsets at the same event.

The new handsets will be shipped with the iOS 7 software, announced in June.

Apple recapped the latest version of its mobile software at the event.

‘iOS 7 is the latest version, and next month we will ship the 700 millionth iOS device. iOS 7 will quickly become the world’s most popular mobile operating system.

‘Virtually overnight hundreds of millions of people will upgrade’ said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering.

The software, overseen by Brit designer Sir Jonathan Ive, will be made from 18 September for the iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S.

The firm added that it will come to older iPhones ‘later’.

Apple recently lost smartphone market share to main rival Samsung, dropping to 14 per cent – its lowest for three years – because of ‘lacklustre’ iPhone 5 sales and tougher competition from rivals.

Experts believe that tonight’s event will be ‘make or break’ for the Cupertino-based firm.

Jason Jenkins, editor of CNET UK told MailOnline: ‘ People are increasingly choosing rival smartphones that have larger screens, are more powerful and are cheaper.

‘Apple seems happy with that, as it makes more money per phone than its rivals: it doesn’t need to sell more mobiles than everyone else to win the smartphone war.

‘To get round this, Apple has relied until now on announcing a new model and simply making the previous year’s cheaper. ‘But at some point that strategy isn’t going to work so well, and it’s going to have to release a model that’s specifically designed to tempt budget buyers.’

In the year since Apple unveiled its iPhone 5 handset, for example, Samsung has released or announced 16 new models in its Galaxy range including the popular Samsung Galaxy S4 and S4 Mini.

As well as the new iPhones and unveiling further details about it iOS 7 software announced in June, Apple was also poised to update its iPods, as is tradition at its annual September event.

However, this year Apple may also be looking to introduce a new Apple TV or at least a software update for the Apple TV that will include streaming capabilities from your iPhone or iPad.

There were even rumours about a phablet-style device with a six-inch screen.

Each of the best-selling Galaxy models feature plastic casing, which ultimately makes them cheaper to produce than Apple’s aluminimum and glass handsets.

Analysts claimed Apple would be looking to tap into this emerging market, which is particularly prevalent in China, with a low-cost, plastic iPhone 5C.

This was evident in Apple’s choice to run an event at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino alongside mirror events in Beijing, Tokyo and Berlin.

source: dailymail UK