Apple Releases 8GB iPhone 5c on UK carrier O2

(Photo: Flickr / splorp)Apple iPhone 5c.

On Tuesday, Apple Insider announced Apple's release of its mid-tier iPhone 5c 8GB version on UK carrier O2, and bringing it into the sub-$100 range in a possible bid to improve flagging sales. The plastic-backed iPhone is now in the UK Apple Store priced at £429, and is showing up on the webpage of wireless carrier O2 UK under the price range free to £409.99 (about $680). The price represents a savings of £100 ($166) off the 16GB model.

iPhone 5c 8GB is not on Online Apple Store UK, however, which is its informational webpage, but the storage size is the only change there is from the typical 5c 16GB. Meanwhile, Apple iPhone 4S is still available on O2's website.

Apple iPhone 5c comes with a 4-inch LCD Retina IPS display with 640x1136p, 326ppi. It is powered by Apple's A6 chip, which powers iPhone 5 as well. iPhone 5c features an 8MP camera with LED flash and a front-facing 1.2MP camera.

CEO Tim Cook acknowledged in a discussion last January that demands for 5c was not as expected. The lower-priced device represents a small mix of the total iPhone sales which reached 51 million handsets in the holiday quarter. It was a new record for the Cupertino company but below the market expectation of 55 million. Cook added that Apple is willing to make changes if needed.

Research firm Canalys noted that the market for low-end smartphone will show a growth rate of 34.5 percent in the next four years, while the $600 segment where Apple is positioned will stall. The 8GB version of iPhone 5c will still compete with many smartphones in the same price range, or even cheaper ones.

The release of iPhone 5c 8GB comes a day after a leaked email from O2 Germany, which spurred rumors of an 8GB iPhone 5c to come out this week. The lower-priced iPhone will still make its way to the German website of the mobile operator.

Apple is expected to put out the iPhone 5c 8GB model in the U.S. as well.

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