Confirming our own suspicions regarding the widespread “cheap iPhone” rumors, Apple SVP of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller refuted speculation surrounding a low-end Apple smartphone during an interview with a major Chinese newspaper this week.
In an interview with the Shanghai Evening News, Schiller was asked to weigh in on Apple’s products for the Chinese market, amidst rumors of a low-end version of the iPhone.
Schiller responded saying, “every product that Apple creates, we consider using only the best technology available.”
“This includes the production pipeline, the Retina display, the unibody design, to provide the best product to the market.”
Which means that if Apple suddenly went cheap on the iPhone, it would no longer be the best product (in its category) on the market.
“At first, non-smartphones were popular in the Chinese market, now cheap smartphones are more popular and non-smartphones are out,” Schiller added.
“Despite the popularity of cheap smartphones, this will never be the future of Apple’s products. In fact, although Apple’s market share of smartphones is just about 20%, we own the 75% of the profit,” the Apple SVP concluded.
Reports from the reputable Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal publications recently cited sources as saying that Apple was planning to steal away market share from its competitors in the mobile space with the introduction of a cheaper iPhone.
The rumor said Apple was going to employ cheaper materials, such as plastic instead of aluminum for the phone’s enclosure, to keep production costs down.
However, such changes would also make the iPhone feel cheaper in the user’s hand. And, if Schiller’s comments are any indication, this is the last thing Apple wants.
To be noted that Schiller’s interview should not be taken as confirmation that Apple is not building a new version of the iPhone with an eye on production costs and a lower price point for the customer.
The company’s iPad mini is a great example that Apple can retain value while slashing a product’s retail price.