We’ve been hearing a lot recently about Apple potentially releasing a cheaper iPhone in 2013. Firstly DigiTimes had its say, then WSJ and Bloomberg chimed in with alleged confirmation of that speculation. As I suspected when I first read the rumor, it’s not the way that Apple designs products.
In an interview with Chinese publication, Shanghai Evening News, Apple’s SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller addressed the rumors head on.
“At first, non-smartphones were popular in the Chinese market, now cheap smartphones are more popular and non-smartphones are out,” Schiller added later. “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.”
So there’s a surprise, business is about making money, not market share. Who’d a thunk it?! Apple will almost certainly continue the model it has built its success on in the past by releasing a new phone, and simply dropping the price of previous generation models.
TheNextWeb’s Matthew Panzarino is of the opinion that Schiller’s answer isn’t definitive. And that although Apple will almost certainly not compromise build and material quality for the sake of market share, there’s no guarantee that Apple won’t still be looking towards driving build costs down in an effort to reach the lower end of the market.
So, there’s clearly room for wriggling in this rumor. Will they or won’t they? I won’t be betting on a cheap iPhone anytime soon. But I’m happy to be proven wrong.