New intrigue on trail of cheaper iPhone

The mystery of whether Apple will come out with a lower-priced iPhone has taken a new turn.

The Reuters news agency this morning mysteriously withdrew a story he had written yesterday linked to statements allegedly made by Phil Schiller of Apple in China. That story was based on a report in the Shanghai Evening News, Reuters says now, ever so succinctly, “was subsequently updated with substantial changes in content.”

That’s all – “substantial changes” without elaboration. Intriguing, yes. But also frustrating vague.

We spent a good part of the morning scouring the web for more details. We become Google Translate loose in Shanghai Evening News site. However, until now, has been an exercise in futility.

We put the question to Reuters, also, about what changed in the report of Shanghai. When we hear back, we’ll know.

So what Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, is supposed to have said in his interview with the Evening News in Shanghai? This, as related by The Next Web:. “Despite the popularity of cheap smartphones, this will never be the future of Apple products In fact, although the market share of smartphones Apple just about 20 percent, we own 75 percent of the profits. “

The comments attributed to Schiller came following reports this week suggested that Apple, whose popular iPhone is expensive compared to many other smartphones and feature phones less powerful, in fact, may be considering the addition of a low-cost iPhone its line of products for new markets.

Yesterday also, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thought a lower-priced iPhone – set at, say, $ 199 – could open a huge new market for Apple, on the scale of tens of millions of potential new buyers.

“We believe the opportunity for Apple is too big to get lost because the low-end market is growing much faster than the market for high-end smartphones,” said Munster.

“We note that the cheapest iPhone, iPhone 4, currently costs $ 450 more than the contract and in many countries where additional taxes are levied,” the analyst said in a separate note this week. “We note that an iPhone 4 contract is about $ 490 in China and $ 750 in Brazil, so the sub-$ 199 price would be a significant discount. Historically, we believe that lower prices have had a measurable positive impact total revenues (iPad Mini, iPod Nano, iPad). “

Bloomberg news agency earlier this week, citing sources, that Apple could set Aprice as low as $ 99 for an iPhone on a budget. Both Bloomberg and Munster noted that Apple could come out with the new iPhone sometime later this year.

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