Apple Shows What's Old Is New Again

Updated from 9:02 a.m. to include iPad sales figures on the second page. 

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As Apple (AAPL) tries to boost sales of its fledgling iPhone 5c, the company has launched an 8GB version of the phone in some markets. It also reintroduced the fourth-gen iPad with Retina Display, replacing the iPad 2.

Rumors swirled Monday that Apple would indeed be unveiling a smaller version of the iPhone 5c, after pictures of a German iPhone 5c with 8GB marking on the box cropped up. The phone, which is only available in the U.K., France, Germany, China and Australia, is aimed at boosting sales in markets where Apple is seeing competition from lower-end Android-based phones, as Google's (GOOG) operating system continues to dominate in these markets.

Though Apple does not break out product revenue by region, growth in Europe was tepid in the fiscal first quarter, with revenue rising 5% year over year to $13.07 billion. Revenue in Asia Pacific, which includes Australia, fell 9% year over year to $3.63 billion. For the entire quarter, Apple generated $57.5 billion in revenue, earning $14.50 a share.

Apple shares were slightly higher in trading on Tuesday, gaining 0.5% to $529.39.

Apple is looking to not only boost sales in markets where Android is the dominant platform, but to boost its lagging stock price as well. Over the past two years, Apple shares have lost 3.4%, compared to a 44.4% gain in the Nasdaq over the same time frame. As a result, Apple has come under attack from activist investors, including Carl Icahn, to do more with its enormous cash hoard, which topped $158 billion at the end of its most recent quarter.

AAPL ChartAAPL data by YCharts

It's interesting that Apple would not launch the smaller version of the 5c, given CEO Timothy D. Cook's comments about sales in North America, during Apple's fiscal first quarter earnings call. "In North America, we did not do as well, and this weighed on our results," Cook said on the earnings call. "Our North American business contracted somewhat year over year. And if you look at the reason for this, one was that as we entered the quarter, and forecasted our iPhone sales, where we achieved what we thought, we actually sold more iPhone 5Ss than we projected."

On the call, Cook noted it was the first time Apple had ever launched two phones in the quarter, and the "demand percentage turned out to be different than we thought."

The iPhone 5c is seen as inferior to the iPhone 5s, as it's largely the iPhone 5, except with a color plastic casing. There's also a a small price difference between the 5s and the 5c. A look on Apple's U.K. Web site showed the 8GB 5c now costs 429 pounds, 40 pounds less than the 16GB model, with the 32GB model selling for 549 pounds. In France, the phones cost 559 euros, 609 euros and 711 euros, respectively. In Germany, the prices are different, costing slightly less than those in France.

A look at the store in China shows the 8GB 5c costs RMB 4,088, while the 16GB and 32GB models cost RMB 4,488 and RMB 5,288, respectively. In Australia, the 8GB model costs A$679, with the 16GB and 32GB model priced at A$739 and A$869, respectively.

Aside from the 8GB iPhone 5c, Apple also re-introduced the fourth-generation iPad, which it discontinued in October 2012 when it unveiled the iPad mini. The fourth-gen iPad, which comes with Retina Display, will replace the iPad 2, which does not have the clearer screen. It's now again available on Apple's site, but only in a 16GB capacity.

It seems that Apple has kept all of the internals of the fourth-gen iPad the same, with its A6x processor, but it replaces the second-gen iPad which was the only remaining iPad to have the 30-pin connector. In contrast, all Apple devices are Lightning to USB enabled. All iPad's are now Retina Display-enabled, except for the original iPad mini. The only change appears to be that the iPad with Retina Display now comes stock with iOS 7, Apple's latest mobile operating system.

"Now for $399 customers can get iPad with a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display, fast A6X chip, and 5MP iSight camera, offering a dramatic upgrade in power, performance and value compared to the iPad 2 it replaces," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing in the press release. "The iPad line sets the gold-standard in mobile computing and all iPads have access to the largest and best ecosystem of more than 500,000 iPad optimized apps from the App Store."

At the unveiling of the second-generation iPad mini, Apple's Schiller said Retina Display was the single-most requested feature for the new tablet.

The iPad has proven popular with consumers, as other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) look to cash in on the tablet market. In Apple's most recent quarter, Apple sold 26 million iPads, thanks in part to reception surrounding the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina Display.

The iPad with Retina Display costs $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi mode, with the LTE model costing $529. Both models are available on Apple's Web sites, and in Apple Retail Stores.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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