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Apple rolls out 8GB iPhone 5C in many more countries

This lower-storage version of Apple's lower-end smartphone is now available in more than 15 countries altogether, but not in the US.

8gb-iphone5c-italy.jpg
The 8GB iPhone 5C is now selling in Italy, among other countries. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Apple's new 8GB version of the iPhone 5C is expanding its reach around the world.

As of this week, the 8GB model is available in the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, and the Czech Republic. The online Apple Store for all six countries show the 5C variant as in stock and ready to ship within 24 hours.

The 8GB 5C has also popped up in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland.

Apple introduced the 8GB iPhone 5C in March to consumers in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and China to add to the 16GB and 32GB editions. The new variant is not available in the US. The decision to offer an even cheaper version of the 5C throughout the world comes amid weak sales for the phone in general.

Will the 8GB version light a fire under sales of the 5C? Not likely.

Consumers have expressed a strong preference for the 5S over the 5C. At Apple's quarterly conference call in January, CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that the 5S has grabbed the higher mix of sales.

The 5C's poor reception extends internationally. A report out last month 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.

With the iPhone 6 rumored to launch in September, people who don't need a new phone will likely sit tight the next few months to see what Apple cooks up next.

Update, 10:25 a.m. PT: The 8GB 5C has since surfaced in additional countries throughout Europe.

(Via 9to5Mac and MacRumors)