Apple said its move to add a lower-cost iPhone 5c in some countries is designed to help the company take advantage of a booming market for mid-range smartphones.
The company on Tuesday started selling an 8GB model of the iPhone 5c in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Australia and China, with the unlocked device selling for around $70 less than the 16GB model.
“The mid-tier iPhone segment is growing year-over-year and the 8GB model provides a more affordable option for markets where LTE is becoming more established,” an Apple representative told Re/code. The iPhone 5c, unlike the iPhone 4s, which is also still sold, supports LTE networks.
The iPhone 5c has also not sold as well as Apple had originally estimated, a fact it doesn’t like to talk about, but tacitly admitted in its last earnings call, noting the product mix was tilted more toward the higher-end iPhone 5s than it had expected.
Apple is not selling the 8GB model in the U.S., a move that may have to do with the fact phones here are typically sold subsidized meaning the iPhone 5c already starts at $99, with a new two-year contract.