With today’s launch of a new 8 GB iPhone 5c, much discussion has been centered around the observation that the new model is available in only a handful of countries: the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and China. In a statement to Re/code, Apple reveals that its strategy is to offer a lower-cost option that is compatible with LTE networks in countries where those networks are seeing rapid growth.
“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 report notes that Apple may prefer not to sell the 8 GB iPhone 5c in the United States because of the popularity of subsidized phones, which sees the 16 GB model being offered for $99 or even less on a two-year contract. There are, however, plenty of other countries where subsidies are not common and where Apple has elected not to offer the new 8 GB model. The business model is even changing in the United States, where T-Mobile has led a charge to decouple device pricing from service plans. Under the new models, carriers are offering interest-free payment plans on devices and charging users separately for their service.
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