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Reuters: Cheaper iPhone story withdrawn after 'substantial changes' to China report

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Rumors of a more affordable iPhone for emerging markets took an interesting turn Friday, as the major news organization Reuters opted to rescind a story originally filed, based on comments allegedly made by Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller.

Reuters issued an update Friday morning informing readers that it had withdrawn the story, which featured the headline "Apple exec dismisses cheaper iPhone as a market share grab ??report." It was based on a report from the Shanghai Evening News, but that original story was later updated with "substantial changes to its content," which prompted the significant retraction.

AppleInsider also cited the same story on Thursday, noting that Schiller allegedly told the newspaper that Apple is not interested in making a "cheap," low-profit iPhone. The Next Web had reported that it confirmed with Apple that Schiller's comments came from an "official interview," as did the report from Reuters, which is now rescinded.

It's unclear exactly what the "substantial changes" made to the story are. As of Friday morning, the original story remains hosted at jfdaily.com, claiming that Schiller said Apple will not develop "cheap smartphones."

iPhone 5


The original Chinese report gained considerable attention due to recent rumors claiming Apple plans to build a more affordable iPhone this year. The Wall Street Journal said that the device would be geared toward emerging markets such as China, where cheaper smartphones that can be bought without a service contract dominate the market.

Currently, Apple's cheapest iPhone model is the iPhone 4, which can be had for free with a new two-year service contract. But when bought contract-free, the iPhone 4 costs $450 in the U.S., and taxes increase that price to $490 in Chin and $750 in Brazil.
post #2 of 47
I don't many people suckered for that story anyway! Sure not I.
post #3 of 47
So is Reuters claiming Schiller didn't make those comments?
post #4 of 47
It seems AAPL bear is working very hard before they get killed . Cheap iPhone is the same as apple NetBook theory - bullshit .
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I don't many people suckered for that story anyway! Sure not I.

 

Read it a little more closely. It seems that they are trying to re-stoke the rumors. They are withdrawing the story where they reported that Schiller said they wouldn't release a cheaper iPhone.

 

My guess is that we won't see it any time soon, though. Apple isn't like McDonalds, which tailors its menu for each country. Apple is a consistent take-it-or-leave-it company, for better or for worse. 

post #6 of 47

Apple already has a cheaper iPhone or iPhones. It is the iPhone 4 and 4S. They still compete pretty well with most of the smartphones out there and to be honest, if I am on a budget I really won't complain that my phone does not have the latest and best.

post #7 of 47
Really? Apple = cheap. Not! Not happening.
post #8 of 47
I think Apple would actually rise price for places where there are lower tax, and the price you get from Carrier would be the same. Which pushes more users on Carrier contact instead.
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

So is Reuters claiming Schiller didn't make those comments?

It may be that they weren't accurately translated. The specifics from the interview were not originally written in English. 

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post #10 of 47

Everyone knew the story was bs anyway.  Stop trying to make a 'cheap' iPhone work!  The 4S and 4 (and later this year, the 5) fill that niche perfectly.

post #11 of 47
What is amazing is that this story was picked up by all the major media outlets that include the New York Times, WSJ, Reuters, etc. Its a major embarrassment that discredits their journalism integrity. I am extremely surprised that they all got it wrong on such a high profile organization like Apple.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordy View Post

Everyone knew the story was bs anyway.  Stop trying to make a 'cheap' iPhone work!  The 4S and 4 (and later this year, the 5) fill that niche perfectly.

Well, not quite. Even the 4 requires a commitment to spend many hundreds of dollars. It does not fit the 'cheap phone' niche at all.

Apple is not going to make a phone for the 'cheap phone' niche, but saying that their existing phones fit there is not correct, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by propaganda View Post

What is amazing is that this story was picked up by all the major media outlets that include the New York Times, WSJ, Reuters, etc. Its a major embarrassment that discredits their journalism integrity. I am extremely surprised that they all got it wrong on such a high profile organization like Apple.

Journalistic integrity died with Walter Cronkite (actually, more like his retirement).
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post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by propaganda View Post

What is amazing is that this story was picked up by all the major media outlets that include the New York Times, WSJ, Reuters, etc. Its a major embarrassment that discredits their journalism integrity. I am extremely surprised that they all got it wrong on such a high profile organization like Apple.
We don't know though exactly what they got wrong.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It may be that they weren't accurately translated. The specifics from the interview were not originally written in English. 
I must say I was curious about that comment that Apple has 20% marketshare but 70% profits or whatever it was. Just doesn't seem like something Phil Schiller would say to Chinese media. Maybe some things were lost in translation.
post #15 of 47
Apple management needs to quell FUD rumors right away. Apple ought to have some sort of media team to collect FUD made up about Apple and then every so often have management come out and correct whatever stupid rumors are circulating. I really hate these stories that are always put out claiming informed anonymous tipsters are giving this information. Anyone can be an anonymous tipster with no inside information at all. No one really needs to know what Apple is doing except Apple. There are too many media outlets that are just sheep following the rest of the herd. Unfortunately, individual bloggers can be held responsible for whatever lies they spread.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by propaganda View Post

What is amazing is that this story was picked up by all the major media outlets that include the New York Times, WSJ, Reuters, etc. Its a major embarrassment that discredits their journalism integrity. I am extremely surprised that they all got it wrong on such a high profile organization like Apple.

News seems to be driven by sensationalism and web hits these days. The New York Times already showed they had no scruples with that China labor story last year. Now they have to compete with Drudge and the Huffington Post that will put anything on their website.

post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordy View Post

Everyone knew the story was bs anyway.  Stop trying to make a 'cheap' iPhone work!  The 4S and 4 (and later this year, the 5) fill that niche perfectly.

 

As someone pointed out above...

 

They're not withdrawing the story that Apple will make a cheaper phone.

 

They're withdrawing the story that Schiller said they were not interested in doing so.

 

Huge difference.

post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

As someone pointed out above...

They're not withdrawing the story that Apple will make a cheaper phone.

They're withdrawing the story that Schiller said they were not interested in doing so.

Huge difference.

Cult of Mac is reporting though that they're not seeing any change to that Shanghai Daily piece. The Nex Web, which was one of the first to report this says they got confirmation from Apple that this was an official interview. Why wouldn't Reuters just contact Apple PR to confirm if this was legit or not? I'm assuming if it wasn't true someone from Apple would have denied it. I mean its one thing to not comment on rumors from unnamed sources, but these were actual quotes attributes to Schiller. If something got lost in translation or was just plain inaccurate you'd think Apple would want to set the record straight.
post #19 of 47

Funny everyone misinterpreted this statement as Apple not making a cheaper iPhone. Actually it's about Phil Schiller's comment  so Apple will make a less expensive iphone for certain markets worldwide(as in developing countries). I wonder how many Wall Street analysts will mis read it as well?

post #20 of 47
Hmmmm ..... In the past Reuters reports from East Asian locations seemed eerily to mirror Samsung's PR position. Maybe someone messed up and printed a story favorable to Apple? The original Chinese is still there and still is a strong denunciation, reportedly by Schiller, of any imputation that Apple will build cheap smatphones to grab market share. %u4E0D%u4F1A%u4E3A%u62A2%u5E02%u573A%u63A8%u5EC9%u4EF7%u667A%u80FD%u624B%u673A. It couldn't be much clearer. Either the Shanghai paper made it up or someone put pressure on Reuters for their own reason
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Cult of Mac is reporting ...

A quick side question: I don't know that I've spent any time reading CultofMac stories till you pointed me to one. Are they usually so blunt and to-the-point about Apple, for example their opinion piece "Why Apple should stop making iOS apps" story? A quick perusal kinda leaves that impression.

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post #22 of 47
"Cheaper" could also include "with lower taxes".
This could be the case of iPhones built in the new Brazilian Foxcom facilities in Sao Paulo and sold internally in Brazil and South America without the typical high import taxes added in these markets to any foreign-built tech device.
post #23 of 47

Apples sale of low priced iPhone 4 and 4S will need to be terminated soon

Apple need all products to use new lightning interface

So the introduction of a new (lightning based) low priced iPhone will happen

(same applies to iPad 2 and 3 - btw)

post #24 of 47
Reuters isn't used to the rumor business.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Apple management needs to quell FUD rumors right away. Apple ought to have some sort of media team to collect FUD made up about Apple and then every so often have management come out and correct whatever stupid rumors are circulating.

That doesn't work:
1. It's virtually impossible for Apple to track down every rumor.
2. It simply encourages the "let's throw lots of crap at the wall and see what sticks" mentality of many of these rumormongers. If Apple is going to correct the stuff that's wrong, why not make up a million crazy stories and see which ones Apple doesn't deny.
3. There would be a major thrust to post "Apple didn't deny it, so it must be true" stories. Essentially, Apple would be forced into a position where they'd have to catch ALL rumors and deny them - which brings us back to #1.

The best response is to just ignore them and hope that people eventually get tired of reading rumors from people who are never right. Unfortunately, the latter hasn't happened yet.

Quote:
I really hate these stories that are always put out claiming informed anonymous tipsters are giving this information. Anyone can be an anonymous tipster with no inside information at all. No one really needs to know what Apple is doing except Apple. There are too many media outlets that are just sheep following the rest of the herd. Unfortunately, individual bloggers can be held responsible for whatever lies they spread.

I'm assuming that you mean "individual bloggers can NOT be held responsible" which is much closer to the truth. While it is theoretically possible to prosecute someone for knowingly posting false information (particularly if they do so to manipulate the stock price), that's nearly impossible to prove and generally not wasting effort on.
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post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by grmphf View Post

Apples sale of low priced iPhone 4 and 4S will need to be terminated soon

Apple need all products to use new lightning interface

So the introduction of a new (lightning based) low priced iPhone will happen

(same applies to iPad 2 and 3 - btw)

 

Wow. This is one of the most informative posts I've read in a while. You make an excellent point. I'd be willing to bet you're right and the rumors of a cheap iPhone are just the iPhone 4 with a lightning port. Now that you have said it, it seems so obvious.

post #27 of 47

The purchase of any phone requires one to spend tens of hundreds of dollars. The story was bs.

post #28 of 47

This story is the first thing that makes me even consider that the original story had any merit whatsoever.

post #29 of 47

But I still think its BS

post #30 of 47

Butbutbutbutbutbutbutbut…

 

"Apple WILL (must/has to) make a cheaper phone! You're all idiots for thinking otherwise! Remember the iPad mini"

 

Ugh, can't find the exact quote:


I consider myself successful for the things I've said "No" to more than the things I've said "Yes".

 

Something like that.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by grmphf View Post

Apples sale of low priced iPhone 4 and 4S will need to be terminated soon

Apple need all products to use new lightning interface

So the introduction of a new (lightning based) low priced iPhone will happen

(same applies to iPad 2 and 3 - btw)

Maybe they will make a hybrid....a 4S Lightning.  This is the only logical idea I've read on why Apple may make a different phone.  They are hugely invested in the idea of promoting the Lightning connector.

post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndirishfan1975 View Post

Maybe they will make a hybrid....a 4S Lightning.  This is the only logical idea I've read on why Apple may make a different phone.  They are hugely invested in the idea of promoting the Lightning connector.
Apple just added a lightnng connector to the 3rd generation iPad without changing anything else. There's no reason to think they couldn't do this to the iPhone 4S as is.

I don't know what compelling new feature Apple has up its sleeve for the next generation iPhone, but if history is any guide, it'll be more like the iPhone 5S and won't blow anybody's socks off.

That means there won't be much to distinguish the mid-priced phone from the top of the line phone, after the 4S moves down to the low-priced phone, except the screen.

It's hard for me to believe Apple would just move last year's model down a peg and charge $100 less for the iPhone 5 when there's likely to not be a significant difference between it and its successor. People will mostly save the $100 and keep buying the 5.

Wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to redesign the 4S with a lightning connector, use the 5's LTE internals, and let the smaller screen differentiate it in the marketplace, justifying the $100 discount? That way they wouldn't have to touch the 4S at all. Just let it sell out without any further investment, the $0 price tag justified by no true LTE, and lack of lightning. Why would Apple spend money to offer a free phone with lightning that would allow a customer to wait even longer to upgrade to the next? I expect many third party manufacturers are looking to get out of the 30-pin dock connector business as soon as practical. Plus Apple gets to sell them $30/adapter if they want to keep using it with lightning only technology. The need for Apple to implement Iightning doesn't seem critical enough to spend money on a loss-leader product.

At this point, actually building a "budget" model specifically to sell as a mid-priced and low-priced phone makes more sense than continuing to drop the latest model down the ranks. The 3GS/4/4S made some sense but now that they've gone to the unibody construction, not so much. Not only that but everybody doesn't want a larger phone. So Apple builds a smaller phone they can sell for less without canibalizing sales of the larger flagship phone. They limit the build options and sell the less expensive phone for free. They're all unibody, so a few minor tweaks for size to the latest designs, and they're all built on the same equipment, no need to maintain three completely different manufacturing systems.
Edited by Mac_128 - 1/11/13 at 10:23am
post #33 of 47
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post
Apple just added a lightnng connector to the 3rd generation iPad without changing anything else.

*BZZZZZZZZZZZT* 1confused.gif

 

I don't know what compelling new feature Apple has up its sleeve for the iPhone 6, but if history is any guide, it'll be more like the iPhone 5S and won't blow anybody's socks off.

 

Clarify, please: do you mean the next phone (iPhone 5S, the 7th model) or the actual iPhone 6 (iPhone 6, the 8th model)? 

 

It's hard for me to believe Apple would just move last year's model down a peg and charge $100 less for the iPhone 5 when there's likely to not be a significant difference between it and its successor.

 

Hard for you to believe something they've done every year for the past five years?

 

Wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to redesign the 4S…
 

No. Don't even need to quote the rest.


That way they wouldn't have to touch the 4S at all.

 

You JUST SAID "redesign it"!

 

Why would Apple spend money to offer a free phone with lightning that would allow a customer to wait even longer to upgrade to the next?

 

Why would Apple spend money to do a second branching "update" off of a two year old model?! They said this two years ago, too: "Oh, the iPhone 3GS isn't actually going away; it'll just be updated with an A4. The iPhone 4, now THAT'S going away." Come on!

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

A quick side question: I don't know that I've spent any time reading CultofMac stories till you pointed me to one. Are they usually so blunt and to-the-point about Apple, for example their opinion piece "Why Apple should stop making iOS apps" story? A quick perusal kinda leaves that impression.
I'm not really a fan of the site to be honest. A little too much click bait for my liking. The piece you reference is a perfect example. it was written by Mike Elgan. Just the fact he writes for them is enough for me not to like the site. lol.gif
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Clarify, please!

Yes I know they changed the processor and front camera as well on the iPad (4g). Whoopdi do. Are there technical limitations that otherwise prohibit easily updating the 4S with lightning? If you know this for a fact I'd love to know about it?

I meant the next generation iPhone, not the 6 since we don't know what they may call it.

Hard for me to believe now that the iPhone 5 and next gen iPhone are not likely going to be more identical than not. There has always been a significant difference between the 3GS, 4, 4/S and 5. Now that the iPhone 5 has 4G LTE and a larger screen, not to mention industry standard cameras, etc. what are they going to add? A faster processor? And? How does that justify a $100 price bump for the average consumer? Especially when the 5 screams as is. And I don't see this changing much over the next few years, unless there's some new worldwide standard after LTE that's going to rolled-out in 2 years ... We'll be lucky if LTE is fully implemented by then.

I meant the current 4S spot. The mid-priced spot. You know this whole labeling system of Apple's makes it hard to discuss, as evidenced by your reference to it.

And I never said update a two year old model. Where did you get that? The whole thrust of my argument is that Apple would redesign the mid-priced model currently occupied by the 4S, and based on the 5. My argument specifically was to leave the 4S alone and move it down to the bottom rung, no need to even add lighting.

If Apple can't keep improving major areas of the device, 5G/Mega Data/BlaBlaTechnobabble, then what is to distinguish the top of the line model from the bottom two tiers? Yes they can add faster Bluetooth, better wifi, faster processors,better cameras, limit features in iOS. But is that enough to differentiate models? Suddenly Apple is competing with itself on the exact same playing field as google and Microsoft -- specs, not only that but marginal specs. A simple difference in screen size clearly differentiates the phone in the marketplace and gives consumers a clear choice, further limited by memory size on the low end. I would go so far as to say that the low end (free) model would then go on to be last years model of the mid-priced model while always maintaining the flagship model in a design category of its own.
Edited by Mac_128 - 1/11/13 at 10:55am
post #36 of 47
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post
Yes I know they changed the processor and front camera as well on the iPad (4g). Whoopdi do. 

 

Sorry, no. You don't get to write off a complete update to the device.

 

Hard for me to believe now that the iPhone 5 and next gen iPhone are not likely going to be more identical than not.

 

They do tick-tock designs. Pretty sure the outside case would stay the same, but don't pretend the hardware will.

 

what are they going to add?
 

This is why you're not at Apple. They'll come up with something we never knew we needed. I can think of a few things that I never knew I needed (well, you know), but I'm not at Apple either… lol.gif


A faster processor? And? How does that justify a $100 price bump for the average consumer?

 

It has justified it for every single iPhone model since the 3G, so… It goes without saying that you're ignoring the part where, by design, it's a two year upgrade cycle. There will be justification for model to model updates, but there's always more for when your contract runs out.

 

I meant the current 4S spot. The mid-priced spot.

 

Apple's gonna keep the 4S as-is, dropped to $0. The iPhone 5 will be dropped to $99, and the 5S will take its place. Seems pretty simple a plan, given that they've done it for years now.

 

They had a chance to give the entire line Lightning. They didn't do it. They didn't do it with the iPad, even. They're not going to do it now, with the phone being even older. It's just gonna run its course.


Apple didn't do spot updates to their old models, giving them USB, when the iMac was introduced. They didn't do spur updates to their old models, giving them Thunderbolt, when the first Thunderbolt Macs were introduced, either. They just ran their course.


And I never said update a two year old model. Where did you get that? 

 

From here, I guess?

 

Wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to redesign the 4S with a lightning connector
The whole thrust of my argument is that Apple would redesign the mid-priced model currently occupied by the 4S, and based on the 5.

 

Okay, so… why can't that just BE the iPhone 5? They just got over this move to a larger screen; you're saying keep 66% small screen models instead of moving to 66% larger screen models?

Originally posted by Relic

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post #37 of 47

Apple probably doesn't give a hoot about the rumours. It keeps the brand in the news --- free advertising, and doesn't give anything away. In fact it wouldn't surprise me that they might "seed" the mill with intentional "leaks".
 

post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It has justified it for every single iPhone model since the 3G, so… It goes without saying that you're ignoring the part where, by design, it's a two year upgrade cycle. There will be justification for model to model updates, but there's always more for when your contract runs out.
Processor upgrades may well justify a new phone for some. It doesn't for me and many others, including critics who review each update. But more to the point you are overlooking the SIGNIFICANT differences between the previous models and the future situation:

3G: added 3G
3GS: Added much faster processor than 3G (which was the same processor as the original iPhone)
4: added Retina Display, camera flash and significantly faster processor
4S: added pseudo 4G
5: added true 4G LTE and a 4" retina display plus lightning

So where's the compelling reason to buy the next gen phone, rather than the then mid-priced 5?

I will be due for another upgrade by then, and a processor upgrade won't do it. Better cameras? The 5 is already state of the art. NFC? Where would I use it? No I don't work at Apple, and I'm sure they will come up with something I can't possibly imagine, the question is whether I will NEED it with the major features unchanged.

Now the then bottom tier 4S, I understand. It doesn't have true 4G LTE. It also has a smaller screen and a slower processor, and no lightning. And they're going to sell me that for free. But the 5 and the next gen flagship, will be mostly identical. What could possibly justify $100 difference? A faster processor? Doubtful for most at the speeds the processors currently run (it was much more of an issue between the 3G & 3GS).

Then we get to the next update, two generations out. The 5 sits on the bottom rung, the mostly identical successor in the mid-price, the latest generation on top. They all have 4G LTE (I doubt there will be a new cellular standard being implemented by then). They all have 16:9 4" retina displays. They all have top of the line cameras. They all have lightning. The only significant differences are going to be processors. Maybe the flagship has a modified design. And some will pay for that alone. But unlike most past generations, the processor is about the only major thing that sets them apart in the future.

But wouldn't it make more sense to have two distinct models? A mini that justifies the lower cost, and the flagship that at least gives you more screen space for the money as well as the latest bells and whistles? The "mini" then becomes the iPhone that gets last years model bumped down to the low-end free position, while the updated mini stays in the mid-range, clearly distinguishable from the flagship. Apple doesn't have to push the style envelope on this model either, with fewer "revolutionary" updates, allowing them to focus on keeping the flagship model unique and highly desirable.
Edited by Mac_128 - 1/11/13 at 11:35am
post #39 of 47
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post
Processor upgrades may well justify a new phone for some. It doesn't for me and many others, including critics who review each update.

 

You're joking, right?


3G: added 3G
3GS: Added much faster processor than 3G (which was the same processor as the original iPhone)
4: added Retina Display, camera flash and significantly faster processor
4S: added pseudo 4G
5: added true 4G LTE and a 4" retina display plus lightning

 

So how is this a "valid update" under your system? Notice the 4S also updated every single other hardware aspect of the phone, but you've glossed over that. It had a significantly faster processor, as did the iPhone 5, but you glossed over that, too. 

 

So where's the compelling reason to buy the next gen phone, rather than the then mid-priced 5?

 

So don't buy it. Pretend whatever you want to pretend, but you're just outright wrong. This is how hardware updates work, and always have, with computing devices. Where's the compelling reason to buy any computer model except the very first with a new case design? That's basically your argument, and it shows a lot about why it's faulty.

 

But the 5 and the next gen flagship, will be mostly identical.

 

They'll be "mostly identical" in the same way the iPhone 4 and 4S were "mostly identical": in that they're not at all identical.

 

What could possibly justify $100 difference?

 

What justified it between the 4 and 4S? The 3 and 3GS?

 

(I doubt there will be a new cellular standard being implemented by then)

 

No, but there will be faster LTE chips. There will be faster LTE for the next iPhone LTE-A tops out at, what was it, 100 MBps? That's a capital B. No idea if it's right; but something like that. 


But unlike most past generations, the processor is about the only major thing that sets them apart in the future.

 

Really? You can't think of anything at all that would… *sigh* Never mind.


But wouldn't it make more sense to have two distinct models?

 

Only if they have identical hardware, but that doesn't seem to be Apple's game.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #40 of 47

Reuters has published a revised report.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/apple-dismisses-cheaper-iphone-story-114045693.html

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - In a revised version of an interview published Thursday in a Chinese newspaper, Apple Inc marketing chief Phil Schiller said the company would focus on making "the best products" for customers and "never blindly pursue market share."

On Thursday, the Shanghai Evening News cited Schiller as saying that Apple would not develop a cheaper smartphone for the sake of expanding its market share.

That appeared to undermine other recent media reports indicating that Apple was working on a low-end smartphone, which would represent a significant shift in strategy for a company that has always focused on premium products.

But in a new version of the story published after the original, the Shanghai Evening News removed all references to cheaper smartphones, except for a mention of a "cheaper, low-end product." It also amended its original headline from "Apple will not push a cheaper smartphone for the sake of market share," to "Apple wants to provide the best products, will not blindly pursue market share."

Apple confirmed the interview had taken place and that it had contacted the Chinese newspaper about amending its original article, but had no further comment and declined to provide a transcript of the interview.

It was not clear if Schiller had made his original comments or if the newspaper had quoted him out of context.

The Shanghai Evening News could not be immediately reached for comment around 2:00 a.m. Shanghai time Saturday.

"We will not discuss plans for any future products," Schiller was cited as saying in a newly published quote.

The executive had originally been quoted as saying that developing a cheaper smartphone to try and replace feature phones was not a direction in which the company wanted to head. That comment was removed from the new version of the story, which now cites Schiller as saying, "Apple has always focused on providing the best products for its consumers, we've never blindly chased market share."

Apple rarely addresses rumors about upcoming products, which often spur intense speculation. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal cited anonymous sources as saying Apple could release a cheaper iPhone as early as this year.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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