Feature Article

March 19, 2014

Apple Releases 8GB iPhone 5c in Hopes of Boosting Sales

The iPhone 5c was a baffling addition to the iPhone family when it was first revealed last year. On the one hand, here was the low-end Apple  phone seemingly every analyst said the company needed in order to compete against the growing onslaught of cheap Android and Windows Phone devices. On the other hand, it was priced too highly to reasonably be called low-end or even mid-range.

It seemed like a misstep, but if anybody could pull it off, it would be Apple.

Fast forward a few months, however, and it’s clear Apple hasn’t pulled it off — but that doesn’t mean it’s giving up. In particular, it seems Apple is combating weak sales of the 5c in Europe and Asia by introducing a new 8GB variant. This model is available exclusively in the U.K., France, Germany, and China.

In terms of retailers, it’s been confirmed that U.K. mobile carrier O2 is offering the new, low-storage iPhone (News - Alert) 5c, which is also available at Apple’s European online stores. According to all reports, this model will not be coming to the U.S. at all — or at least for the time being.

Onto the important part: the price. The new 8GB 5c is priced at £429 (about $712) unlocked on Apple’s website, making it £40 ($66 or so) less than the 16GB model. Meanwhile, O2  is selling it for £409 (just shy of $680) off contract.

This isn’t the first move Apple has made toward increasing sales of its "unapologetically plastic" smartphone. Back in October, the company had to cut iPhone 5c orders in response to low demand, while also introducing limited-time discounts at select retailers, like Best Buy.

It’s hard to say with any certainty whether or not Apple’s latest maneuver will make much of a difference, but it doesn’t seem likely. In other words, the 5c may ultimately serve as nothing more than a footnote in Apple’s history when all is said and done.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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