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Apple rumored to launch 8GB iPhone 5C

Priced cheaper than the current 16GB version, the new phone reportedly could debut as soon as Tuesday, say various sources.

Is Apple about to launch an even cheaper iPhone 5C?
Is Apple about to launch an even cheaper iPhone 5C?

Apple may aim to shake up the smartphone market with an 8GB iPhone 5C, according to several new reports.

Citing information from two German blog sites and its own tipsters, MacRumors said on Monday that the 8GB phone will reportedly hit the market this week, possibly as early as Tuesday. Available in the full gamut of 5C colors, the 8GB version would be the new entry-level iPhone model, said MacRumors. Apple currently offers the 5C in 16GB and 32GB variations.

One source throwing out this claim is German blog site Caschys Blog, which caught wind of an alleged note sent by German carrier O2 to retailers. The unverified note claims the cost of the 8GB version will be 509 euros ($707) compared with the 569 euros ($791) price tag for the 16GB model.

Another source, German blog site iFun, has reported that the 8GB version will launch on Tuesday. MacRumors also cited several tipsters who say the new phone has already shipped to carrier stores in the UK.

Further, a photo of a product package obtained by Engadget lists a blue, 8GB iPhone 5C as the model.

Assuming the reports and images are true, a cheaper iPhone 5C would be one way to try to breathe life into the phone's weak sales. Compared with the 5S, the 5C hasn't exactly been a contender. Reports show the 5S outselling its cheaper cousin by a wide margin. At Apple's first-quarter conference call in January, CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that the 5S has grabbed the higher mix of sales.

The iPhone 5C's poor reception extends internationally. A report out Monday from China-based analytics firm Umeng found that the 5C picked up only 2 percent of the traffic on its network compared with 15 percent for the iPhone 5 and 12 percent for the 5S.