Apple aims to take back lead from Samsung with new iPhone
LATER today, Apple will launch its most important iPhone handset since it started making phones. The manufacturer, which is losing ground to arch-rival Samsung in global sales, is expected to reveal a new cheaper iPhone model called the iPhone 5C.
The device is expected to come in several colours and feature the same size screen as Apple's existing iPhone 5. The gadget will also come with Apple's updated operating system, iOS 7. New iPhones are usually on sale here in Ireland about four weeks after such announcements.
Apple is also expected to launch an updated version of its existing high-end iPhone device, which is also said to come in a variety of colours. The only major new feature rumoured for the gadget is a fingerprint reader, which may surround the device's home button.
The event, to occur at 6pm Irish time, will be streamed live to a select audience in China, where Apple has lost most market share in the last year. The company is widely expected to announce a deal with China's largest operator, China Mobile, that would give it a stronger position to grow its market share. China has 750 million mobile users, over twice the number in the EU.
The launch comes as an Irish-based global analytics firm StatCounter has confirmed Samsung's growing lead over Apple in the mobile internet market.
The Korean manufacturer overtook its Californian rival for the first time in June. Nokia lies in third place with 21.7pc. Apple retains a strong lead in the Irish market, according to the figures.