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iPhone 5c now available for pre-order

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iPhone 5c hands-on
iPhone 5c hands-on

Apple’s new rainbow-hued iPhone 5c is available to pre-order across the US from Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The iPhone 5's polycarbonate successor is going for $99.00 on contract with 16GB of storage or $199 ($99) for the 32GB alternative. (You can also knock $20 off that price if you do your pre-ordering at a Walmart store today rather than online.) Opting to go off-contract, either directly through Apple or on T-Mobile, will cost you $549 for the 16GB 5c, or $100 more for the 32GB version. You also have the option of a T-Mobile installment plan, which will get you a 16GB phone for $0 up front and $22 a month for the next two years, for a total of $528.

Neither Apple nor the carriers have announced pre-order plans for the 5s

If you’re looking to buy the flagship 5s, though, it looks like you’ll have to wait until the official launch on September 20th. Neither Apple nor the carriers have pre-order plans in place for the 5s, the price of which starts at $199 for the 16GB model and goes up to $299 and $399 for 32GB and 64GB of storage, respectively. That range goes up to $649-$849 if you choose to go off-contract, and starts at $99 down plus 24 $23 monthly installments at T-Mobile.

So which iPhone should you go with? 5s owners will get the benefit of a superior camera, a faster 64-bit processor, and fingerprint authentication for a meager $100, which seems like a worthwhile tradeoff. But if you do choose to go with the 5c's bright colors and cheaper price tag, at least you won’t have to wait outside just to get your phone on launch day.