The story behind an interview between Apple SVP of Worldwide marketing Phil Schiller and the Chinese newspaper Shanghai Evening News has taken an interesting twist. It all started with a number of reports that Apple was working on a cheaper iPhone (to sell perhaps as low as US$99). In the subsequent interview, Schiller appeared to deny the rumours. Or did he?
According to translations, Schiller was quoted as saying that cheap smartphones would “never be the future of Apple’s products.” He added that Apple would not compromise on quality and only used “the best technology available.” Those comments are now being brought into question by Reuters, one of the many publications that picked up the story. It has now removed its article, indicating that the source material, namely the original interview, has been “subsequently updated with substantial changes to its content.” Even stranger is that it’s not clear what if any changes have been made. According to BusinessInsider: “The original story doesn’t appear to have had any major changes.”
Did Schiller say that Apple would not make cheap phones or not? No one seems to know and even Apple is not saying. One thing is clear: Even if Apple were to launch a cheaper iPhone model, it would certainly not describe it as such.
Update: Reuters has posted a revised story where it outlines changes to the original Shanghai Evening News interview. It reports that references to cheaper smartphones have been removed except for the mention of a “cheaper, low-end product.” The headline of the story has also been modified to “Apple wants to provide the best products, will not blindly pursue market share” from “Apple will not push a cheaper smartphone for the sake of market share.” For its part, Apple confirmed that the interview took place but declined to provide a transcript of the interview.