Apple has quietly released a 8GB variant of its lower-priced iPhone, the iPhone 5c. The device was hotly rumoured to be released earlier today, and is now already available in various Apple online stores in worldwide. In addition, Apple is also killing off the iPad 2 and bringing back the 4th-generation iPad with Retina display in its stores.
Rumours of a cheaper iPhone 5c variant first surfaced at a German blog, revealing what appears to be a letter from carrier O2 to retailers informing of the new variant. Soon after the rarely-active @vizileaks account posted on Twitter regarding what it called the #NewiPhone, before tweeting an image of a blue 8GB iPhone 5c in its packaging. @vizileaks also revealed that the cheaper iPhone 5c will replace the iPhone 4S, but it appears that is not the case, as all Apple online stores we’ve checked is still selling the older iPhone 4S.
The 8GB iPhone 5c is available immediately in selected markets worldwide. It is available in Apple online stores in Germany, the UK, France, Australia, and China, with many more markets likely to come. O2 UK has also listed the 8GB device as part of its monthly plans. In Europe, the 8GB iPhone 5c is 50 euros less than the 16GB variant.
[Update] All these stores have also listed the 4th-generation iPad with Retina Display available, and the iPad 2 product page has been removed. Even the Malaysian Apple online store is showing the 4th-gen iPad available for RM1449 – which is only RM150 less than the new iPad Air. We’re scratching our heads ourselves, considering the iPad 2 was retailing at RM1119.
At the time of writing, both the US and Malaysian online Apple stores do not list the 8GB iPhone 5c. We’ll update this post if the Malaysian Apple online store refreshes its iPhone 5c product page to include the new 8GB variant.