The Apple Store Is Back Up! Pre-Order iPhone 5 For $199 & Up On Friday

And that’s a wrap! The Apple Store is back up now, following this morning’s announcement of the new LTE-enabled iPhone 5’s, which are going to be the same price as the iPhone 4S’s. To refresh your memory, that’s $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB (on-contract pricing with AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon). Meanwhile, the iPhone 4S is now a budget device: it’s now priced at $99, again, on-contract. A budget device! Oh yeah, and the iPhone 4 is now free with a 2-year contract, taking the spot formerly held by the iPhone 3GS.

Instead of offering low-end devices in order to compete on price in emerging markets, Apple now tends to discount older models in order to gain traction in countries like China, Brazil and Russia. Those are areas where the winning platform has yet to be determined. Android or iPhone or even a dark horse like Nokia/Windows Phone could still manage to take a notable chunk of consumer market share as more users buy their first mobile device or upgrade from a feature phone.

The iPhone 4S is still a great phone and it will be able to run the new version of iOS 6, as will the iPhone 4, the current iPad, iPad 2, and iPod Touch. Oh, and the iPhone 3GS, where I’m sure it won’t at all run like a total dog. iOS 6 rolls out as a free update September 19th.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 will begin this week, on Friday the 14th. And shipping starts on September 21st in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. It will arrive in another week to more countries, and an additional 20 will be added next month. Apple notes this is its fastest roll out to date.

Other new products, including iPods and EarPods, will also be available in the store at varying times. The EarPods are available to ship today, while other devices, like the new, colorful iPod Touches and nanos, will be available in October.

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