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iPhone 5c (8GB) goes on sale in Europe

Apple introduces smaller and cheaper version of its mid-tier iPhone to boost sales.

Apple has expanded the iPhone 5c line-up in Europe with the release of an 8GB model.

SIM-free pricing for the 8GB 5c starts at 429, which is 40 cheaper than the 16GB version and more than 129 less than the 32GB edition.

At the time of writing, mobile operator O2 was the only UK carrier with the device in stock.

The iPhone 5c was announced alongside the more expensive iPhone 5s in September 2013.

The iPhone 5c was considered at the time to be Apple's attempt at making a budget smartphone, although the SIM-free and contract pricing of the device has been roundly criticised for being too high since its release.

IT Pro awarded the device four stars out of five in its review for this reason, while the high cost of the device is regularly cited as a reason why it has not sold as well as the iPhone 5s since launch.

Reports suggest that the iPhone 5c has not been as popular as Apple expected with the cheaper device being outsold by the more expensive iPhone 5s at a rate of 2-to-1 in the weeks after launch.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was tackled on this issue at the time of the firm's fourth quarter results in October 2013, where he insisted the 5c was not intended to be an entry-level phone.

"If you look at what we've done with our iPhone line, we're selling the iPhone 4s as our entry offer. We're selling the iPhone 5c as sort of a mid-tier offer and then, of course, the iPhone 5s," he said, on a conference call with analysts at the time.

"We'd like to grow in each one of those and we're really pleased that we did that, and so that how we partly measure success, because the most important thing for us is to make a great product, but we do need growth and we're happy that we've seen that."

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