Phil Schiller (iPad mini event 001)

Samsung is planning to refresh its flagship consumer electronics products at a media event on February 21, rumors are swirling that Apple is about to branch out the iPhone into two hardware versions: one flagship model aimed at high-end consumers and the other budget model costing up to $149, reportedly made from cheaper materials and possibly crammed with less features.

The inexpensive device, according to the latest chatter, should be targeted at price-conscious shoppers in China and other emerging markets. Though both WSJ and Bloomberg over the past year reported a few times that Apple executives have explored a less expensive iPhone sold without a contractual obligation, the company’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller has reportedly debunked the rumor in an interview with a Japanese newspaper…

By the way, Managing Editor Matthew Panzarino of The Next Web has verified with Apple – it’s an official interview.

Now, according to the rough machine translation of the original report in Shanghai Evening News, Apple is not attempting to grab its slipping market share in emerging markets away from Android cheapos by developing a new, less-pricey iPhone with fewer features.

Schiller apparently told the paper that Apple is unlike other companies which carpet-bomb the market with “multiple products in one breath”, in the hope that some gizmos will stick long enough to make a profit.

“Competitors launched many dimensions new products, but after purchase will find no suitable software products and user experience”, the rough translation has it.

As for targeting the low-end of the market, it isn’t in Apple’s DNA, he allegedly said. Instead, the Cupertino firm is all about providing premium products for the people who value integrated experiences.

In Apple’s parlance, Schiller said, this means marrying great technology to sophisticated production process making possible high-resolution Retina screens, precision aluminum chassis and other manufacturing process that – coupled with Apple’s world-class industrial design – make possible something like the company’s Rolex of smartphones.

So a lot of people in the Chinese market using a functional machine, some manufacturers use cheap smartphones replace feature phones, but this is not Apple’s product development direction.

Put simply, Apple’s in it for the long haul.

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.

There you have it.

iPhone 5 (manufacturing process 011)

They want to build long-lasting relationship with the consumer and are ready not to just go the extra mile to win your respect, but also raise the ladder on what consumer electronics should be, how it should be manufactured, how it fits in your life and works seamlessly with the broad Apple ecosystem.

At any rate, it appears the blogs and big media are the only one concerned about click-bait market share headlines. Yes, Apple’s global share in smartphones is hovering between 20 and 30 percent, depending on who you ask. Yes, Samsung has twice as much market share.

But despite its smaller market share, Apple is constantly capturing three-quarters (and that’s a conservative estimate) of the profits in the entire cell phone business, which encompasses all smartphones and so-called dumb and feature phones.

Schiller noted as much, saying:

At first, non-smartphones were popular in the Chinese market, now cheap smartphones are more popular and non-smartphones are out. 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.

Nailed it.

Schiller’s comment – and the fact that bothered to go on the record at all – pokes some holes in the budget iPhone rumor. Of course, that Apple won’t be releasing it in the near future doesn’t meant the company’s gonna stop researching the budget iPhone.

And trust me – if Apple knew how to make a contract-free, premium-quality $99 iPhone that doesn’t suck balls, they would immediately release it, no question about it.

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    Ya, I suspected there was little chance of apple producing a second rate product.

    • Johnathan Jennings

      Will never happen. iPad mini is just about as shitty as it gets from Apple, and that’s still one of the best mini tablets.

      • yeah that old chipset and small RAM and non retina.. i was surprised apple did that.. but they new that the consumers most interested din a mini ipad would not car about that stuff ie women and kids…lol

      • Johnathan Jennings

        Exactly. Lol

      • Mohammad Ridwan

        iPad mini with Retina Display will be a fantastic tablet.. Very compelling for reading books..

      • yes all the to do is use the ipad 3 internals and the mini will be a beast..


    Of course they are not. Anyone who has followed apple for the past decade should be able to predict this.

    • Exactly. Apple don’t do cheap.

  • the consumer want better and cheaper… apple only makes better.. if you want cheap go to android but them you have to give up the better

    • The time of crappy android phones are over dude.
      Iphone is done, Its boring its the same and old and can’t compete anymore with the new android phones, accept it and move on to something more exciting!

      • android sucks

      • maurid

        Hmm… where have I heard that before?

  • Gimmy

    Apple is not going to make a new budget phone. The IP5 already is the budget phone. What they need is a new flagship phone, and a new OS.

    • I agree with tis 10000000000000%%%% an i have said the same thing many times… the iPhone concept and IOS has peaked!!! apple need to drop another massive revolutionary device ASAP..

    • Qiren_94

      That doesn’t make sense.

  • Val

    Apple already has cheap iPhones. It’s called “Last Year’s Model”. Hell, you can even get a FREE one if you grab the 2 year old one.

    • exaclty

    • Yes but thats with a 2 year contract and a subsidized phone. This cheap iPhone was supposedly going to be $99 unsubsidized meaning no contract and that’s the full price you pay for the phone as opposed to the iPhone 4S or 4 which are still at least $400+ for unsubsidized without contract.

    • Armando


  • Thats Chinese not Japanese SMH

  • If apple were to make a cheaper phone then that would mean they wud make a phone with harware on par with the iPhone 4. But Wait dont we already have the iPhone 4…. i guess the 2 year old iPone 4 is already ur cheap phone.


  • If apple launch budget iphone …. Samsung will make Lawsuit against apple 😀

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Told ya…

  • wouldn’t the cheap iphone be the previous model from the new one? smh

  • jilex

    “And trust me – if Apple knew how to make a contract-free, premium-quality $99 iPhone that doesn’t suck balls, they would immediately release it, no question about it.”

    really? but even the so costly iPhone 5 bends…

  • Apple has cleverly created a mystique around their products that fools a lot of people into paying more for less. That’s why their profits are so high. Do you really want to buy from the company making the most profit?