Apple’s (AAPL) Low-End iPhone Is Back on the Table

The direct denial of Apple (AAPL)’s marketing chief Phil Schiller earlier this week in China to recent rumors from numerous news outlets claiming Apple is working on lower-end iPhone that could possibly hit the market as soon as this year, was apparently a misquote.

Reuters reports that the Chinese newspaper Shanghai Evening News‘ that interviewed Schiller in Beijing on Tuesday, has revised its story and his quotes.

It now reports that what Apple’s senior vice-president of global marketing said was that the iPhone-maker would focus on making “the best products” for customers and “never blindly pursue market share”.

Reuters notes that the Chinese paper also amended its initial 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”.

On Thursday, the ‘Shanghai Evening News’ had originally cited Schiller as saying that despite the popularity of low-cost smartphones, Apple would not develop a less-expensive iPhone for the sake of expanding its market share.

“More people are using smartphones in China, some manufacturers are beginning to develop low-cost smartphones to replace feature phones, but this is not within Apple’s product development direction,” Schiller said.

That comment was revised in the new version of the story, which now quotes Schiller as saying that while some manufacturers are moving toward such cheaper smartphones, “Apple has always focused on providing the best products for its consumers, we’ve never blindly chased market share.”

A reporter at the ‘Shanghai Evening News’ who identified himself as Huang Yinlong, whose byline appeared on the stories, told Reuters “the paper had made some changes, as Schiller’s remarks may not have been presented as clearly as possible.”

“Asked if the paper had made the changes at Apple’s request, Huang said that the paper had made the decision on its own”.

The concept of a budget iPhone is not new. The product has been under consideration since as early as 2009.

Apple’s stock last closed at $520.30, down $3.21, or 0.61%, on 21 million volume.

Ticker’s 52wk range: $419.55 – $705.07.

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