Apple's iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 5c

Apple's iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 5c

Apple's taken a new strategy this year with its most important product category. The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launched in September, and there are some notable differences between the two devices.

Apple is using Touch ID as one key differentiator, which is only available on the flagship iPhone 5s model, while the iPhone 5c does not get a fingerprint sensor. That added level of security could potentially entice consumers to pay up for the most expensive model.

With the iPhone 5c, Apple is using a polycarbonate chassis again, after shifting away from plastic materials several years ago. Still, the iPhone 5c has superior build quality compared to competing plastic devices. That premium quality also translates into premium pricing relative to competitors, though.

Apple's new product strategy has longer-term implications, since the lineup will now be fresher overall going forward if Apple continues to release two new models each year as opposed to one.

Despite ongoing debate over the iPhone 5c's prospects in key markets like China, investors can rest assured that the lineup is still much stronger than it was a year ago.

In the following video, Eric Bleeker, CFA, and Evan Niu, CFA, discuss the differences between Apple's newest iPhones.

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Eric Bleeker, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Originally published