Pre-orders begin for Apple’s new iPhone 5c

The new lower-cost iPhone 5c is shown at an iPhone event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

SAN FRANCISCO — Pre-orders for Apple’s new iPhone 5c kicked off at 12:01 a.M. PT at Apple.Com and websites for the major wireless carriers.

The Apple Store app and Apple Store web site went live after spending much of Thursday evening with a traditional “we’ll be back” message while it updated with information on the ordering process. Customers ordering now were to begin receiving the phone on Sept. 20.

Apple on Tuesday unveiled its next-generation flagship iPhone 5s starting at $199 with customary two-year service contract, the new iPhone 5c in several colors, starting at $99, and the latest version of its iOS 7 operating system.

Promotional pricing deals were widespread on Thursday. Walmart is selling the 5c for $79, and a 16GB 5s for $189. T-Mobile has a limited time deal for no money down on the 5c and 24 monthly payments of $22 (for a total of $528.).

The 5c comes in green, white, blue, pink, and yellow. The phone’s casings are made of a polycarbonate plastic. It is powered by Apple’s A6 processor and sports an 8-megapixel camera. The 5c has Apple’s 4-inch retina display and can run on 4G LTE networks.

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It will run $549 for a model purchased without a carrier plan.

The iPhone 5s is not available for pre-order. Apple’s latest standard-bearer is a 64-bit model powered by a zippier A7 chip and comes in gold, silver and a “space gray.” Apple says the processor is twice as fast as its predecessor. Apple also included a much-expected fingerprint ID sensor in the home button on the 5s, allowing people to unlock the phone, as well as make iTunes purchases.

IPhone 5s prices will run $199 for a 16-GB model, $299 for a 32-GB and $399 for a 64-GB version — all requiring a two-year contract.

Follow Nancy Blair on Twitter: @nansanfran.

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