Apple is preparing an 8GB version of the iPhone 5c for launch, according to a series of new rumors today. There’s a reported leak of a document from German carrier O2 alerting its staff to the new phone (received via our Tips line from Caschys Blog), and an apparent image of a barcode identifying an 8GB blue model of the new phone, too.
The combined reports provide pretty strong evidence that Apple is working on a smaller capacity iPhone 5c, which makes sense as a way to help it continue to apply price pressure to its line of smartphone devices. The new SKU would retail for 60 euros less than the current 16GB version, which translates to around US$85 less. Building a new model with 8GB of flash instead of 16 or 32GB would cost virtually nothing in terms of altering production lines and would save lots in supply costs allowing Apple to reap greater margins on lower-cost hardware.
There’s reason to believe that Apple offering an iPhone at that size spec would make it difficult for users to have enough space on their device for all their desired apps and media, but the company does sell an 8GB iPhone 4S alongside the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. Apple does offer an increasing number of first-party apps either pre-installed or for download, some of which have considerable space demands.
But it also offers a wide range of cloud and streaming services, making on-device storage less of an issue. And the 8GB version would live alongside higher spec devices, which is sometimes a strategy used by gagdet-makers to get consumers to look at a mid-range option that they otherwise wouldn’t necessarily have considered.
There’s still no guarantee we’ll see Apple introduce this version of the iPhone 5c tomorrow, or that it will make its way to all markets, but it’s a step that would fit with possible goals of moving more 5c hardware and applying price pressure. We’ve reached out to Apple for more info and will provide more details if we receive any.