Recent reports have increased the speculation that Apple, long known for holding fast to its higher-than-market-average price tags, is working on a low-cost version of the iPhone. However, in a rare departure for tight-lipped Apple, one executive has stepped forward to address the rumors.
Speaking to China's Shanghai Evening News, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, threw cold water on the widely reported rumor that Apple has a cheaper iPhone in the works.
In an account translated by TNW, Schiller said, "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 percent, we own the 75 percent of the profit."
And, in a separate interview with Xinhua News, Apple CEO Tim Cook weighed in with a surprising comment on the future of the company in China in general. Cook said, "China is currently our second largest market. I believe it will become our first. I believe strongly that it will..." So, despite rampant clones, grey market sales, and censorship of local Web users, it appears that, at least for Apple, China is indeed the future.