back to article Reuters rubbishes report rubbishing cheap iPhone rumor

So is Apple planning to release a cheaper iPhone or isn't it? The answer seems to depend on whom you believe – and Reuters, for one, says it doesn't believe the Shanghai Evening Post. Reuters was one of many news outlets – The Reg included – to note a story featured in the Chinese newspaper on Wednesday that claimed Apple …


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  1. Darryl
    Thumb Down

    OK, this is getting a little ridiculous... Now the cynic in me is just thinking that this is all just manufactured by Apple's marketing department to increase the hype in the media.

    1. Androgynous Crackwhore

      Old. Boring. Inane.

      Of course "this is all just manufactured by Apple's marketing department to increase the hype in the media" - it's a "news" article based on what was originally a formal Apple PR interview and was subsequently amended at the interviewee's request!

      What I want to know is why the fawning hacks feel compelled to regurgitate this drivel ad nauseam

      Earth to hacks: This "Apple might be thinking" crap isn't news!

    2. AlbertH


      Apple can't buy the high-end components they need to make their high-priced crap except through third-party brokers since they pissed off their principal supplier (Samsung). This has put the prices of the parts they need up by 400%, and even Apple fanbois won't spend $4000+ on the iPhone 5 no matter how shiny it is.

      If Apple want to have any product to sell, they're going to have to move radically downmarket, which will ruin their spurious cache and thereby alienate their market... They've shot themselves in the foot and it's probably going to be the end of them. Sell your stock now!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Desperate

        Did you just dream that? Samsung will the ones begging Apple to buy from them soon when someone else comes out with the next new / best Android phone.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Desperate

        [Citation needed]

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Desperate

        Don't panic! I'm sure Apple's margin can comfortably absorb a mere fourfold rise in component and manufacturing costs.


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple release iPad four six months early, Apple release smaller iPad, Apple release widescreen iPhone.

    I predict Apple will release cheap iPhone to chase market share, they are a corporation, corporations are whores, whores will do anything for money.

    1. Erroneous Howard

      But in the meantime they don't want anyone to know as it might cause a dip in sales of the current iphone if some people decide to wait for the cheaper version?

      1. AlbertH

        But in the meantime they don't want anyone to know as it might cause a dip in sales of the current iphone if some people decide to wait for the cheaper version?

        That will actually suit them. They have a rapidly dwindling stock of components since they pissed off the only company in the world making the parts they need for their higher-end products. Samsung can now starve Apple to death (and rumours from Korea suggest that this is the Samsung strategy)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But Google are a charity who do it out of the goodness of their heart are they? I think we all know the answer to that. Messerschmitt was very clear about how he is a non-confused capitalist pig.

      1. Nanki Poo

        @ AC 01:32

        Comment != subject


  3. Someone Else Silver badge

    My Judgement...

    As for whether this incident lends new credence to the idea that Apple has a lower-cost iPhone in the works, we leave that up to the reader's own judgment.

    My Judgement?





    I's now Beer-thirty here in the great plains, so must be off.

  4. VeganVegan

    Maybe when they get their current production under control...

    Economics 101: Why would they bother with a cheap phone (lower profit margins) when they can't keep up production rates for the regular (higher profit margin) version?

    If and when they get production capacity up to levels to meet the demand, they might look to the cheaper market segment and see if they can make some extra money there.

    In the meantime, they are likely designing and testing a cheap version now, just in case they need to go to market when the time is ripe.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Maybe when they get their current production under control...

      Er, just because they were production limited on the iPhone 5 doesn't mean that they would be on some other model. Those limitations were due to component shortages and requiring a bit of time to get the new manufacturing just right.

      Foxconn has a lot of people, it isn't as though if they have x number making iPhone 5s they can't add y more to make an iPhone mini or whatever.

  5. Andrew Moore

    I can't see it...

    one of Apples major segments is the 'high end, high price' phone sectors. I really cannot see them diluting this cash cow. They'll wipe out the whole 'I own an iPhone, aren't I great' market sector.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: I can't see it...

      So why do they sell iPods then?

    2. Big_Ted

      Re: I can't see it...

      Must agree, its not like they would ever produce and sale a cut down lower cost version of an ipod and call it an ipod nano is it.....


      I would like to now say they will produce a cut down version of the iphone with older components aimed mainly at the emerging third world markets.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can't see it...

      Mercedes sell the S class but they sell a lot of the A class as well without ruining the 'brand'.

      1. Beau

        Re: I can't see it...

        Bullshit, Mercedes have a very big proble in Europe, driving a big desiel un-green saloon car is no longer seen as cool.

        The "S" series is supposed to be their answer to that problem, but it's a load of crap, little different to so many of the other small saloons.

        1. Turtle_Fan

          Re: I can't see it... @Beau

          Actually, try familiarising yourself with Merc's product line-up before spewing your bile.

          The S series is anything BUT a small saloon nor is it ever intended to be in this market. The S has remained unapologetically big, mostly petrol and somewhat un-green. For its target market; it's way cool! Just ask any ambassador or limo driver.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. JaitcH

    "quoted him out of context,"

    That's what politicians say when the get putting their feet in deep puddles of doo-doo, such as 'legitimate rape'.

    Go with the earlier thought, it's likely nearer the truth. You remember what jobs said about the antennagate hassle - it was the LEDs!

    Why believe Apple, they are in the business of selling illusions?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Remember - there was absolutely definitely no chance whatsoever of an iPad Mini, until one turned up.

    The iPhone Mini will arrive next year once Apple has worked out how to properly over-charge for it.

    1. Big_Ted

      Re: (untitled)

      If Samsung can release a smaller / lesser S3 and call it a mini then I agree an iphone mini is very possible but I expect it to be advertised as a device aimed at the third world eveb though it will also sale in the first.....

      They may not sale it in some countries such as America due to the market share / profits there and delay release to the UK etc.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: (untitled)

        I can't really see how you could make the iPhone any smaller and still have a useable touch screen phone. Whereas, it is certainly possible to have a phone that is smaller than the S3. On that basis, I think there is more chance of a 5" iDevice than something smaller than the iPhone.

  8. Zarg the Unmentionable

    Wild and spurious

    Just a tilt for the hell of it.

    Apple needs some lower cost telecoms product if only to screw Samsung (mind you, looking at the Samsung stand vs. the Apple store in Westfield yesterday Samsung seem like they're doing a pretty good job of that themselves - the difference in footfall was almost embarrassing, and the Samsung guy checking Facebook in the Apple store really didn't help). But Apple presumably don't want to cannibalise sales of things like the iPhone 4, so a low-end iPhone might be counter-productive. Unless it isn't an iPhone.

    It just strikes me in a spurious kind of fashion that Apple could really stir up a hornets nest if they put out a lower cost communications device that wasn't in a standard phone form-factor. There's been a bunch of rumours kicking around about an iPod watch because of the success of Nano's with watch-straps (the old square ones). Note that there aren't any square nano's in the current line up. So maybe Jony Ive thinks now is the time for the Dick Tracey watch? It'd be a fairly neat side-step, and would keep their reputation for innovation pretty much intact. And it would reconcile the ambiguous leaks that Reuters don't seem to be able to get right.

    Like i said, only a tilt but I wouldn't be surprised if Apple tries the 'phone that isn't a phone' thing again. After all, it worked with their MP3 player...

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Wild and spurious

      "And it would reconcile the ambiguous leaks that Reuters don't seem to be able to get right."

      It's not a leak, it's Apple marketing taking the piss...

      Just like the Apple TV junk.

  9. Anonymous John

    Register rubbishes Reuters report rubbishing report rubbishing cheap iPhone rumor.

    My brain hurts.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple does offer a "cheap" iPhone, they always keep the predecessor around at a cheaper price point.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      That's not the same thing

      The lastest n greatest retails for $649 off contract in the US - and in most places it is more than that figure converted into local currency. Getting $100 off for last year's model and $200 off for the two year ago model isn't the same thing as designing something specifically for a cheaper price point. $200 off is less than 30%, they need more than that if they want to create a significantly different price point in countries where carriers typically don't subsidize the cost of the phone.

      Selling older models is designed to allow carriers to sell a phone for "free" or at half price when subsidized. If you aren't getting subsidized, the price difference between the older and newest models is small enough that there is little reason not to step up to the latest model. I don't know the price structure of the used market in those countries, but I'd guess the price difference almost disappears when you factor in resale value.

      What a phone designed to be sold at a cheaper price point would be intended to do would be to offer something at less than half the unsubsidized price. I think the idea of Apple selling a $99 or $149 phone is ludicruous, there are no good phones sold at that price, and IMHO the market share you gain from those sales is next to worthless since these people aren't going to make an investment in apps that would make them reluctant to switch down the road.

      However, Apple could easily cut $50 from the manufacturing cost of their phone - no LTE, cheaper camera, mid range rather than high end touch matrix, a body like the 3gs would do it. It could keep the Retina screen and maybe use a last generation CPU like the A5 (or a cut down A6, if that turned out to be cheaper to make) They could sell this phone for $299 and have something far less expensive that would compete better than a $449 iPhone 4 does today.

      Given Apple's huge cash reserves, something I've wondered for a while is why they don't offer financing of phones to allow something that's effectively carrier subsidization in places that don't have it. There's a risk of some people who can't/won't pay the whole amount, but with some down payment required and given the fact the phone only costs Apple $200 at the high end, it isn't exactly as risky as financing a car. It is also a lot easier to "repo" a phone, Apple could remotely brick it and make it useless worldwide if payments fall too far behind.

  11. Silverburn


    Reuters rubbishes report rubbishing cheap iPhone rumor .

    For the sake of consistency, I think I'll rubbish this article about Reuters rubbishing a report which rubbishes cheap iPhone rumors.

    Cue downvotes to rubbish my post about rubbishing this article about Reuters rubbishing a report which rubbishes cheap iPhone rumors.

    Load of rubbish if you ask me.

  12. Zog The Undeniable

    Probably just a third world model. Since the first world, however young or poverty-stricken, will already beg and steal to get a full-price iPhone; there's no point in offering them a cheaper one. It's not like BMWs (another product where the badge adds 50% to the price) where the 1 series sells to people who could never have afforded a new 3 series.

    The iPod nano is as much about form factor as low price, so I'm not sure it's a valid analogy.

  13. Colin Millar

    "cheaper, low-end product"

    As opposed to the expensive, low-end product that is currently available

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