Apple launches cheaper 8GB iPhone 5C

New 8GB version slots below 16GB and 32GB storage options

Apple has introduced a cheaper version of the iPhone 5C with only 8GB of internal storage.

The iPhone 5C originally launched with a choice of 16GB and 32GB options priced at £469 and £549 for the handset only. The new 8GB model costs £429 directly from Apple or £28 a month for a 24 month contract from O2 with a £49.99 upfront price.

O2 is currently the only carrier to have revealed prices for the new model, though other operators will undoubtedly follow suit. Apple's only official response so far is to say "The 8GB iPhone 5c model will be available in the U.K., France, Germany, Australia and China on March 18."

In all other respect the 5C will be identical to the launch model, featuring the latest version of Apple’s iOS software, version 7.0, a 4-inch Retina display, an 8-megapixel camera and Apple’s A6 processor. This gives it nearly identical specs to the iPhone 5, with only the colourful polycarbonate plastic shell really setting it apart.

The iPhone 5C's colour range of plastic shells have made for good adverts but less riotous sales

When the 5C launched alongside the high-end 5S last year it seemed that Apple likely that Apple would try to capture more of the low-end smartphone market with a cheaper device, especially in markets where 4G functionality (a feature missing from the 5C) has yet to make any headway.

However, it seems that Apple set the price too high, and although exact sales figures of the 5C are uncertain (Apple bundles together sales for the two latest iPhones) CEO Tim Cook has said that “the mix was stronger to the 5S”.

In our original review of the pair of devices we said that while that 5C was "a more powerful phone phone than last year’s iPhone 5, with a longer-lasting battery and improved front-facing camera" it was the iPhone 5s that was "the main event".

This doesn’t mean the 5C is doing terribly – it’s thought to have sold better occupying the middle spot in Apple’s portfolio than the 4S, the handset that became second tier when the iPhone 5 came out – but this new memory option suggests Apple still wants more from its plastic fantastic device.

Apple also announced a change to their iPad range today, replacing the iPad 2 with the more recently updated fourth-generation iPad.

Read more: Is the iPhone 5C worth it?
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