What Did Schiller Really Say? Reuters Pulls Story On Low-Cost iPhone Comments

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Phil Schiller introducing iPad mini

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, reportedly shot down suggestions that the Cupertino company will launch a low-cost iPhone later this year during an interview with a Chinese newspaper earlier this week. According to the report, Schiller said that the budget devices will “never be the future of Apple products.”

Reuters was one of the first media outlets to cover the report, but in an interesting move, it has this morning pulled its piece after “substantial changes” were made to the original article. Could this mean Schiller didn’t really say those things?

When The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg both reported that Apple was preparing a low-cost iPhone for launch later this year, the device looked all but guaranteed. Both publications have an impressive track record when it comes to Apple rumors, and they’ll only report information from their own “trusted” sources.

But days after these reports were published, an interview with Phil Schiller appeared in the Shanghai Evening News. According to author Huang Yinlong, Schiller ruled out the possibility of a low-cost iPhone, and he made it clear that budget devices will never be a part of Apple’s future plans.

“Every product that Apple creates, we consider using only the best technology available,” Schiller said, according to The Next Web. “This includes the production pipeline, the Retina display, the unibody design, to provide the best product to the market.”

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

Reuters was one of the first English language outlets to pick up on the report, which quickly made its way around the web on Thursday. But this morning, that report has been withdrawn, and an update reads:

Reuters has withdrawn the story headlined “Apple exec dismisses cheaper phone as a market share grab-report” which was based on a Shanghai Evening News report that was subsequently updated with substantial changes to its content.

No replacement story will be issued.

It’s an interesting move, one that indicates the original Shanghai Evening News report has drastically changed since it was first published. But what’s puzzling is that as of Friday morning, it doesn’t appear to have been amended; it still quotes Schiller as saying Apple will not develop a budget iPhone in an effort to grab market share.

This makes the real reason behind the story’s withdrawal a bit of a mystery. It’s possible that Reuters has discovered parts of the interview were inaccurate, and misrepresent what Schiller actually said. But we can’t confirm that at this point.

We know the interview definitely went ahead, because The Next Web confirmed it with Apple. What we don’t know, however, is exactly what Schiller said.

Unfortunately, this only makes the whole low-cost iPhone rumor an even bigger mystery.

Source: Reuters