Apple VP rejects claims of cheaper iPhone

Posted at 7:50 AM, Jan 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-11 07:50:52-05

(WTVR) – Speculation that Apple has been working on a cheaper iPhone has been building this week, with many reports suggesting such a device could be the company’s attempt at taking the smartphone beyond its traditional high-end roots. The company followed a similar strategy when it added the Nano and Shuffle models to its line of iPods.

However, Apple’s SVP of market Phil Schiller has rebuffed suggestions of a cheaper iPhone. In an interview with the Shanghai Evening Times, he told the publication that the company would not develop cheap smartphones to grab market share.

“More people are using smartphones in China, some manufacturers are beginning to develop low-cost smartphones to replace feature phones, but this is not within Apple’s product development direction,” Schiller said.

Schiller went on to say that Apple has always preferred to focus on creating the best products, so things like market share have not been a focus for the company.

Does this mean an end to the speculation about a cheaper iPhone? Of course not – there’s a lot of wiggle room in Schiller’s comments. The marketing chief may have confirmed that Apple may not be planning to make a feature phone replacement – but that doesn’t mean no cheaper iPhone. Apple would be unlikely to see any such device as low-end – more a high-end product sold at a lower price.

Schiller could also be carrying on former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ tactic of trashing product lines that Apple would later bring out.

U-turns are something of tradition at Apple: the company rejected claims in 2005 of an iPod capable of playing video only to debut one weeks later.