Apple launches cheaper 8GB iPhone 5c

Apple launches cheaper 8GB iPhone 5c

Summary: A new version of Apple's lower-end iPhone, packing less onboard storage and a price tag to match, has gone on sale across Europe.


Hot on the heels of leaked pictures purporting to show an 8GB version of the iPhone 5c, Apple has put the device on sale.

Just like the 16GB and 32GB memory versions of the iPhone 5c launched last year, the 8GB model comes with a four-inch Retina display, A6 chip, eight-megapixel camera, and 1080p video recording.

The device is now available to buy on Apple's UK website, at a cost of £429 — £40 lesss than the 16GB and £120 below the 32GB — or from its various European equivalents for around €550, around €50 less than the 16GB and €150 less than the 32GB. At the time of going to press, it wasn't showing on the US site.

UK mobile operator O2 also started selling the device today for £100 ($166) less than the 16GB model.

Would-be buyers can get the device for free with a £43-a-month two-year contract with 8GB of data and unlimited calls a month, or pay a larger upfront cost for a cheaper monthly deal. The most expensive upfront cost comes with a £13-a-month two-year plan, which gives the user 500MB of data a month and 500 call minutes. On that plan, customers will have to pay £409.99 for the device.

The 8GB iPhone 5c is showing as 'in stock' on the O2 website, in five colours. The phone is not available for outright an purchase price yet, and the device is just listed as 'coming soon' for pay as you go on the O2 website.

2014-03-18 10.23.35 am
8GB iPhone 5c arrives. Image: O2

On O2, the 16GB iPhone 5c is available on two-year plans with the highest upfront cost set at £509, while the outright purchase price is £469 for pay-as-you-go. The respective prices for the 32GB iPhone 5c is £620 and £549.

The difference between outright and contract prices suggest the 8GB model will cost less than £400 off contract — which is £40 more than the 8GB iPhone 4S and £80 lesss than Samsung's 32GB Galaxy S4, which is soon to be replaced by Samsung's new flagship, the Galaxy S5.

The launch of the new lower priced iPhone 5C follows lengthy speculation over the sales of the device relative to its better specced and more expensive sibling, the iPhone 5s.

Apple has never broken out sales of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s separately, but some analysts have estimated the iPhone 5c accounts for about a third of Apple's first quarter iPhone sales of 51 million. In the UK, market research firm Kantar World Panel ComTech estimated iPhone 5s sales were outstripping iPhone 5c sales by three to one in the middle of last year.

O2 UK's launch of the 8GB iPhone 5C followed reports yesterday of O2 Germany planning to launch a device that was around €60 cheaper than the 16GB model. The carrier has a blank placeholder for a third device on its iPhone 5c sales page.

We've asked Apple when the 8GB iPhone 5c will be released in other markets, and we'll update this story if the company responds.

Read more on the iPhone 5c

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, EU, United Kingdom

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • A price Tag to match

    "a price tag to match". Match what? not the competition, that's for sure. The S4 mini w/o contract is 251 pound - that's almost half. HTC One mini is 241 pound w/o contract.
    • Yeah but the s4 is around 400

      Apple is more expensive, we know that

      What doesn't make sense

      Is this phone. 16gb is now the default. 8gb is just silly. I had an 8gb 3gs that i filled up in no time. Three years later it just doesn't make sense at all. You needed 1.9gb just for the ota 7.1 update, let alone the upcoming ios8.

      It's time to stop being so tight with ssd storage.
  • Less is Less

    How ridiculous. The only way to make the 5C successful is to make it better and also cheaper. Apparently Apple made is worse and cheaper.
    Sean Foley
    • And others are doing what?

      Making phones more expensive? Give me examples please.
  • perhaps it for the cloudies ...

    ... that have more data allowance than they know what to do with and don't feel the need to load thousands of apps that they'll never use?

    I find it hard to believe that if anyone was going to buy an overly expensive phone why they wouldn't be able to find the extra £40 to get the 16Gb version.

    The 8Gb model on the surface seems like a false economy ... but then 8Gb data plans and 4G goes some way to removing the need to carry every photo, mp3 and movie you own.
  • Yup, unlimited LTE/4G data plans

    Just the thing to go with your "budget" phone.................
  • An unlocked iPhone 5C (8 GB) version, please ...

    It really isn't "free" if the iPhone 5C (8 GB) is available only via a 2-year contract.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • 8gb iPhone 5C £430. 32gb Nexus 5 £340.

    4 times the storage. Far more powerful. Far bigger, better screen.

    Whats to think about?

    How are Apple still getting away with this?
  • Ditching ol;d stock maybe?

    The 5C hasn't sold well. I guess Apple will ditch it ASAP.
  • Not enough storage

    If you take a lot of photos or store any music at all, 8gb isn't going to get it done. It makes you wonder if they come out with these phones just to make you want to buy another one soon after. In fact, I did just that. I just sold my iphone 5 16gb to Flip'd and used the money to get the 5s with 64gb. No more picking and choosing between which photos I want to keep on my phone.