Apple launches cheaper iPad in the U.S.; cheaper iPhone 5c overseas

(Photo: Apple)Apple's cheaper iPhone 5c in all currently available colors.

Apple has announced that a cheaper, lower-capacity version of its plastic-backed iPhone 5c is now on sale in Europe, Australia and China.

The new iPhone 5c has 8 gigabytes of storage and costs $679 outright compared to $739 for the 16 GB model in Australia. In China, the new 8 GB iPhone 5c is being sold for $723 on Apple's online store. China Mobile, that country's top carrier, began selling iPhones this January.

Apple's global market share in smartphones fell from 18.7 percent in 2012 to 15.2 percent in 2013, said research firm IDC. On the other hand, the market share of smartphones using Google's Android operating system rose from 69 percent to 78.6 percent in the same period.

The iPhone 5c was launched in 2013 in an attempt to attract more budget-conscious smartphone buyers worldwide. The 5c, however, is seen as a flop with customers favoring the higher-end 5s model with a more powerful processor and sharper camera.

Research firm Localytics said the more expensive iPhone 5s was outselling the 5c in the US by a margin of more than three to one, and by a five-to-one margin in Japan.

The cheaper tablet features a 5 megapixel camera; 16 GB of storage and a 9.7-inch Retina display. The Wi-Fi-only model is priced at $449 while the model supporting both Wi-Fi and mobile data costs $598.

Apple's lead in the tablet market plummeted in 2013, said IDC. Apple's 52 percent of the tablet market in 2012 plunged to just 36 percent in 2013. The market share for Android tablets jumped to 60 percent in 2013.

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