Apple's iPhone 5s and 5c go on sale today

Starting today, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are officially available to buy from Apple's online and brick and mortar stores in select markets. Depending on your location, the two smartphones can be purchased, directly from Apple, alongside a mobile operator contract -- you can expect heavily subsidized pricing -- and/or unlocked -- prepare for a hefty bill.

In the US, early adopters have to pay $199 for a 16 GB iPhone 5s, with a two-year contract ($649 unlocked). For those who have higher storage requirements, the 32 GB and 64 GB models are also available, for $100 and $200 more, respectively, on top of the aforementioned base prices.

The iPhone 5c kicks off at $100 less, with the 16 GB model costing $99 alongside a two-year contract ($549 unlocked). Those who want the 32 GB model can also expect to pay $100 more on top of the base prices.

The new iPhones are also officially offered in other markets. Initial country availability also includes Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan (NTT Docomo just joined the ranks of local mobile operators which sell iPhones) and United Kingdom.

The initial sales day kicks off with some bad news for impatient buyers -- shipping delays. The new iPhones will not ship right away, as the lead times range between one to ten business days, as my colleague Mark Wilson explains in an upcoming story, depending on your location and the new iPhone of choice. Generally speaking, the shipping delays are shorter for the iPhone 5c and longer for the iPhone 5s (the gold model is expected to ship in October).

According to the results of our "Will you buy iPhone 5s?" poll, at the time of writing this article, 23 percent of respondents voted that they will purchase Apple's new flagships smartphone right away. A further 13 percent of respondents also answered affirmatively, but their response indicates that the purchase will not be immediate.

The highlights of the iPhone 5s include: 4-inch "Retina" display with a resolution of 1,136 by 640; 64-bit A7 processor; 8 MP iSight back-facing camera with 1080p video recording; 1.2 MP FaceTime HD front-facing camera with 720p video recording; 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage; fingerprint sensor; 4G LTE; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS with Glonass support. The iPhone 5s runs iOS 7 and comes in at 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm and 112 grams.

The highlights of the iPhone 5c include: 4-inch "Retina" display with a resolution of 1,136 by 640; 32-bit A6 processor; 8 MP iSight back-facing camera with 1080p video recording; 1.2 MP FaceTime HD front-facing camera with 720p video recording; 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage; 4G LTE; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS with Glonass support. The iPhone 5c also runs iOS 7 and comes in at 124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97 mm and 132 grams.

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