Apple Shows What's Old Is New Again

Tickers in this article: AAPL GOOG

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

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As Apple 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 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.

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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.