Apple releases cheaper 8GB iPhone 5c - but not yet for U.S. market

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released a cheaper 8 GB iPhone 5c in its European online stores, but the gadget is not yet available online in the U.S. Apple also re-released its fourth-generation iPad tablet, which replaces the older iPad 2.

cheap iphone 5c apple uk

Apple's new 8 GB iPhone 5c is available in the United Kingdom.

In the UK, the 8 GB iPhone 5c device is priced at £429 ($711) unlocked, which is £40 ($66) cheaper than the 16 GB model.

Apple is selling the 16 GB iPhone 5c for $99 and the 32 GB version for $199 when coupled with a two-year contract. On a no-contract basis, however, the phone costs $549 for the 16 GB model and $649 for the 32 GB model. Those price points were somewhat higher than analysts had originally expected, though Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that Apple never set out to sell a low-cost phone, just a solid product. A cheaper iPhone 5s could help Apple grab more market share.

As of late Tuesday morning, Apple's U.S. store did not include an option for an 8 GB iPhone 5c. If Apple were to release the 8 GB iPhone 5c in the U.S. it likely would cost around $499 or so on an unlocked, unsubsidized basis.

Apple sold a record 51 million iPhones during its most recent quarter, which covered the critical holiday shopping season. Apple's iPhone sales figure was slightly lower than what an average of analysts expected. Apple executives noted that demand in the fourth quarter for the iPhone 5s--not the iPhone 5c--outstripped the company's expectations during the most recent quarter. Cook attributed the demand for the iPhone 5s to interest in the gadget's fingerprint scanner.

In terms of the iPad changes, the fourth-generation Wi-Fi-only iPad is priced at $399, which is the same price as the iPad Mini with Retina Display, and $100 cheaper than the iPad Air. The fourth-generation iPad is only available with 16 GB of storage, and a model with cellular connectivity is also available for $529.

Separately, Chinese newspaper Commercial Times reported that Pegatron, which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple, is opening up new factory space and recruiting workers in China to make the iPhone 6.

According to the report, which cited unidentified sources, iPhone 6 production would begin in the second quarter. The report did not say when the phone would arrive in the market. The last few years Apple has unveiled its new iPhones in September.

Pegatron CFO and spokesman Charles Lin had no comment on the report, according to Reuters, and Apple declined to comment, according to CNET.

For more:
- see this 9to5 Mac article
- see this separate 9to5Mac article
- see this The Verge article
- see this separate The Verge article
- see this Reuters article
- see this CNET article

Related Articles:
Apple's Ive: 'We are at the beginning of a remarkable time' for new products
Apple's Cook: 'We're working on some really great stuff'
Apple sells record 51M iPhones, slightly below expectations
Report: Apple prepping larger-screened iPhone, will scrap plastic casing
Analyst: Apple's iPhone 5s top-selling smartphone across Tier 1 U.S. carriers
Kantar: Demand for iPhone 5c in U.S. coming from lower-income households