CUPERTINO, Calif., March 18 (UPI) -- Apple tweaked its product line Tuesday, with the introduction of an 8 GB iPhone 5C and a revamp of its fourth generation iPad, in order to compete with the growth of Android-based devices.
As of Tuesday, the new 8 GB version was available only in certain non-U.S. markets, but Apple is planning on launching the smaller phone in the U.S. sometime soon. The phone, which has half the memory capacity of the previous model, is available in the U.K., France, Germany, Australia and China.
The iPhone 5C was supposed to be a low-end smartphone, aimed at consumers in China. But the higher-than-expected price scared off many potential Chinese customers. The new model will sell for $660 without a contract, as compared to the $725 for the 16 GB model. In England the phone will cost $711, which is only slightly less than the $778 customers pay for the 16 GB version.
Apple also brought back the fourth generation iPad, which was replaced last October by the iPad Air. The revamped iPad will have a more powerful processor, faster wireless connectivity and a sharper display. The cost remains unchanged at $399 for the WiFi version and $529 for the WiFi and cellular model.
Apple is hoping to breathe life into its iPhone 5C line of phones, which were a departure from its earlier strategy of targeting high-end smartphone users. The 5C was catered to consumers who wanted a smartphone but were price-sensitive. Apple also needs to play catch-up in the tablet market, because after reigning supreme for years, iOS was overtaken by Android in 2013 as the preferred tablet operating system.
[Wall Street Journal]