The iPhone 5C will come in 5 different colors and start at $99 with a two-year contract.
CEO Tim Cook calls it "more fun and colorful" than any other iPhone. The 5C has a 4-inch Retina display and is powered by Apple's A6 chip. It also has an 8 megapixel camera, live photo filters and a rear cover that lights up.
Although the 5C is Apple's least expensive new iPhone ever, the company is trying to ensure it's not viewed as a sub-standard product. The lower-end phone is pretty much the same as the iPhone 5 except it's housed in plastic casing instead of aluminum.
The company took "fanatical care" to ensure the "beautifully, unapologetically plastic" 5C feels great to hold, gushed Jonathan Ive, Apple's chief designer. Ive made his comments during a Tuesday video testimonial about the 5C.
The second phone is the iPhone 5S, which Apple's Phil Schiller described "the most forward thinking phone we have ever created." The phone is designed with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, which means a huge leap forward in performance, says Schiller.
The camera in the 5S received some major upgrades, including several automatic features designed to produce better photos. It has larger pixels, which helps capture more light. The phone also has a two-tone flash feature that is designed not to clash with the colors in the room or a person's skin color - something Schiller said has not been done on a phone before.
The camera, called iSight, has "auto image stabilization" to avoid blurry pictures, a burst photo mode to take 20 photos in 2 seconds and a slow-motion camera for video.
The 5S improves security with fingerprint technology. Touch ID can be used to log into your phone and into iTunes.
Schiller it is "fun and easy" to teach the 5S about your fingerprint and once you do, you can just touch the home button to unlock the phone.
Apple said fingerprints will not be stored on its servers.
The 5S will come in silver, gold and space gray metal finishes. The price will start at $199 with a 2-year contract.
Pre-order starts on Friday, and the new iPhones will launch in stores on September 20.
Apple says its next mobile operating system, iOS 7, will be available as a free download on Sept 18.
Craig Federighi, head of software at Apple Inc., said at an event at the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters that "downloading iOS 7 is like getting an all new device."
The new system can be downloaded on the iPhone 4 and later models, as well as on the tablets beginning with the iPad 2.
Apple also says it expects to ship its 700 millionth iOS device next month. Cook predicts that iOS 7 will become the most popular mobile operating system in the world.
Investors were unimpressed with Tuesday's fanfare. Apple's stock shed $11.53, or 2 percent, to close at $494.64.