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 8 gigabyte 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 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 that phones here are typically sold subsidized, meaning the iPhone 5c already starts at $99 with a new two-year contract.