Apple has released a new, low-cost iPhone and the reintroduction of its iPad 4 products in a surprise product line reshuffle overnight, but the move has drawn a surprisingly hostile response on Twitter.
The new 8 gigabyte iPhone 5C is now available in Australia for $679, with Apple’s website listing the new device as being available to ship within 24 hours.
The new device is significantly cheaper than either the $739 Apple charges for a 16 gigabyte iPhone 5C or the $869 for its 32 gigabyte model.
However, it remains significantly more expensive than a quad-core Android smartphone such as Lenovo/Motorola’s Moto G, which currently costs $319 for 16 gigabytes through Australian online retailer MobiCity or $US199 in the US.
The price is also significantly higher than the $US25 Mozilla announced for its low-end Firefox OS smartphones at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.
Interestingly, while the new iPhone will be available in selected markets, including Australia, China and Europe, it will not be available in the US.
Alongside the new low-end iPhone, Apple announced it is replacing the iPad 2 with the iPad 4 as the new low-end iPad.
The 9.7-inch iPad 4 had originally been phased out of Apple’s product line when the company announced its newest flagship model, the iPad Air, in October 2013.
The company announced it will sell the iPad 4 for $US399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, or $US529 for the Wi-Fi and 4G model – the same price points the company had previously sold the iPad 2 at.
In a statement Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing describes the device as a “dramatic upgrade in power” from the iPad 2.
“Now for $US399 customers can get iPad with a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display, fast A6X chip, and 5-megapixel iSight camera, offering a dramatic upgrade in power, performance and value compared to the iPad 2 it replaces.
“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.”
However, in a worrying sign for the global tech giant, the reaction to the announcement on social media giant Twitter has been surprisingly hostile.
“The iPhone 5C is a mistake, a failure, a disaster, a flop, a dud,” one user tweeted.
Another tweeted: “Apple’s iPhone 5c 8GB move makes no sense to me. Confuses lineup (vs. 4S?, no US model?). Most important: Doesn’t fix what was wrong.”
News of the product line shakeup comes as reports surfaced that the Cupertino, California tech giant will begin production of the iPhone 6 during the second quarter.