Yesterday’s rumours have been proven correct: Apple have released a new 8GB version of the iPhone 5c. After reports of poor sales in targeted emerging markets, Apple have decided to take action. The 8GB 5c has half the storage capacity of the next model up in the range, and will cost £429 in the UK when purchased SIM-free.
Good as it is of Apple to diversify their ‘budget’ offerings, the price of the 8GB 5c is just £40 less than its 16GB big brother. In the grand scheme of things, is that really enough of a difference? In the UK at least, it’s hard to imagine someone purchasing a contract phone opting for a handset with half the storage when they theoretically stand to save roughly £3 per month (the handset is yet to be made available by network contract providers, but a difference of £40 spread over a 24-month contract surely couldn’t yield a greater discount). Will someone based in a lower-income region of Africa or Asia really the 8GB model that much more affordable?
This move could also spell the long-anticipated end of the iPhone 4s. The old girl has had a good run, but now that there is another 8GB iPhone on the market, one with much-improved hardware, it’s safe to say that after two-and-a-half years its purpose has been served.
On Apple’s tablet frontier, the iPad 2 has been laid to rest. It’s been on the market for three years now, and was the last of the iPads to still utilise the 30-pin connector rather than the Lightning connection.
In its stead, the iPad 4 has been brought back from the dead. It was initially taken off the market about six months ago when the iPad Air was released, leaving the iPad 2 as the cheapest option in the range. The vastly superior specs of the iPad 4 mean that it now makes a more appropriate budget model – it has Apple’s retina display for one (twice as sharp as the resolution of the iPad 2), along with an extra 0.4 GHz of processing power and an additional 500 MB of RAM.
The differences between Apple’s iPad Air and the cheaper full-size option are fairly minimal, with the Air using the latest A7 chipset vs the A6X found in the iPad 4. Other than that, the differences are purely cosmetic with the Air, as the name would imply, weighing less and measuring in as thinner.
It seems that now the differences between the very best and the most affordable of both Apple’s phone and tablet range are smaller than ever.