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Older iPhones get price cut but lose some bling

As Apple unveils new iPhones, its older 6 and 6 Plus models drop by $100 on contract, and the 5S goes to "free." You can't get those gadgets in gold though, or with 128 gigabytes of storage.

Apple is dropping the price of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus by $100 as newer models appear. John Moore/Getty Images

Apple lowered the price of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus by $100 on Wednesday as the tech giant unveiled updated versions of the two smartphones. But you can't get those older models in gold anymore.

With a two-year contract, the iPhone 6 will now start at $99 for the 16GB version and the iPhone 6 Plus will start at $199, Apple Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller said at the company's big product-launch event in San Francisco. The phones used to start at $199 and $299, respectively.

Meanwhile, the 16GB iPhone 5S, the least expensive model in Apple's current line of iPhones, has become an entry-level device of sorts and will be available for free with a two-year contract.

None of the older models comes in gold anymore, though (or in the new color: rose gold). And none comes in a 128GB version.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called the original iPhone 6 and 6 Plus the most "popular and loved phones in the world" as he introduced their new siblings: the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus . With a two-year contract, the 16GB versions of the 6S and 6S Plus cost $199 and $299, the original prices of the older models. The 64GB versions cost $100 more, and the 128GB versions cost $100 more than that.

In the UK, the 16GB versions of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus cost £540 and £620 with a contract. In Australia, the 16GB versions of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus cost AU$1,079 and AU$1,229 at full price.

The older iPhone models follow a similar pricing structure, with the 64GB version of the 6 and 6 Plus running $199 and $299, respectively, on contract. The 32GB version of the iPhone 5S, which doesn't come in a 64GB model, runs from $49, with the two-year agreement.

Schiller said most customers aren't buying contracts anymore and he announced monthly installment plans. The iPhone 5S will begin at $19 a month, off contract; the 6 will start at $23 per month; and the 6 Plus will start at $27. The iPhone 6S will also be $27 per month and the iPhone 6S Plus will start at $31 a month.

The iPhone has made up more than two-thirds of Apple's sales in the past several quarters since the company released the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus a year ago.

Check out CNET's complete coverage of today's Apple news.

Update, 3:02 p.m. PT: Adds information on no-longer-available options.
Update, 3:43 p.m. PT:
Adds information on pricing for higher-capacity phones.