Apple expanded availability of the 8 GB iPhone 5c to several new countries on Wednesday. The expansion was first noted by 9to5 Mac, and Mac Rumors reports the low-cost model is now on sale in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Spain, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Switzerland. While prices vary by location, customers can expect roughly a €50 discount for the 8 GB model as compared to the original 16 GB version.
The lower-cost iPhone 5c with less storage was a bit of a surprise when Apple initially announced it: The company introduced the new model last month, in the middle of a current product cycle. That’s atypical of Apple, which generally keeps iPhone product launches on an annual basis. Early sales data suggested that the iPhone 5s was outselling the iPhone 5c, indicating that Apple may not be earning the results it expected from the new iPhone 5c.
I doubt Apple will ever release sales figures specific to the 8 GB iPhone 5c — the company doesn’t break out data at that level — but I’d love to see the numbers.
My expectation? A lower-priced iPhone 5c with a meager 8 GB of storage isn’t bringing a large sales bump for the company. The limited storage certainly isn’t appealing unless you’re getting a large discount on the phone as compared to the 16 GB model. And in some countries, you’re not getting a discount at all according to one Mac Rumors commenter who says: “its hilarious cuz[sic] they introduced the 8GB one for 499€ here in Germany while every big store chain is selling the 16GB one for 489€.”
The timing of this product revision is taking place at a bad time. Until this year’s model, iPhones haven’t been sold at a discount by retailers — they kept prices the same as Apple’s own store. With the latest iteration, however, policies changed, allowing retailers to offer the phones at lower prices if they chose to do so. As a result, Apple’s offering of a discounted 8 GB iPhone 5c is competing with the newly discounted other models, making the product less desirable by comparison.