Cheap smartphones ‘will never be the future of Apple’s products’

by Kenny Hemphill on January 10, 2013

No sooner had the Wall Street Journal published its story about the possibility of a cheaper iPhone, than Apple senior VP of worldwide product marketing, Phil Schiller popped up to apparently deny it. Sort of.

Schiller, according to The Next Web, was interviewed by the Shanghai Evening News and was unusually candid about the prospect of Apple making a cheaper iPhone. Schiller explained that ‘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.’ No great surprises there.

Later, however, presumably in response to questions about how Apple plans to compete in China, Schiller elaborated. ‘Despite the popularity of cheap smartphones [in China], 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 75% of the profit.’

It’s worth noting that Schiller doesn’t say Apple will never make an inexpensive iPhone. There’s a world of difference between ‘inexpensive’ and ‘cheap.’ In addition, while Apple has always been more focussed on margin than market share, it also knows that the latter is important when it comes to building a strong platform with a thriving developer community.

It expanded the Mac and iPod ranges by producing less expensive models. It recently launched a less expensive iPad. There’s every chance it will do the same with the iPhone.

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