Who among the digerati of the 21st century doesn’t want a Lexus at a the price of a Kia? Or, a Rolex for the price of a Timex? We want the good stuff, and while some of us are willing to pay the piper, so to speak, we still dream of quality products for less. You know, like a cheap iPhone.
Second, it’s Phil Schiller himself who hints there are no cheap Apple products in your future, an exclamation which echoes Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs who declared Apple wouldn’t make a $500 computer.
Hmm. What’s the price tag on a new iPad mini? $329? Obviously, Apple figured out a way to combine the company’s industrial design esthetic in a quality product at an attractive price. Just don’t call it cheap. It’s not. Some tablets are going for about half the average selling price of an iPad mini.
Yes, you get what you pay for. Except Apple isn’t willing to dig into the dirt of cheap, lower product margins, and build a far less expensive product just to compete at the low end of the food chain.
What about all those reports of a cheaper iPhone on the way? From Bloomberg:
Apple plans to sell a smaller, cheaper version of the iPhone as soon as this year, said a person familiar with the plans, part of a push to gain customers in developing nations.
Maybe we need to put a more comprehensive definition on cheaper. The iPad mini is cheaper than the iPad 4 but only in price, certainly not in value or build quality (although a higher resolution screen, faster CPU, and a little more RAM, and less expensive storage would be nice– but then it probably wouldn’t be cheaper, would it?).
In a rehash of a Chinese interview with Phil Schiller in TNW Apple’s veep seems to reflect Steve Jobs’ stance that cheaper ‘will never be the future of Apple products.‘ Does that doom Apple to oblivion under the onslaught of Android OS devices which outnumber the iPhone by numbers similar to how Microsoft’s Windows outnumbered the Mac. How did that turn out? Discriminating Windows PC customers flocked to the safety, security, surety, and value of the Mac.
How is the iPhone’s situation any different?
U P D A T E: For reasons unknown, Reuters withdrew their original story ‘Apple exec dismisses cheaper phone as a market share grab‘. Why? Obviously some of what was reported in the article was incorrect. Today, Reuters updated the story to Apple won’t blindly pursue market share. The essence is similar, so don’t expect a cheap and inexpensive iPhone simply to gain market share in developing markets.