Reuters Retracts Phil Schiller “cheap iPhone” Story — Important Update

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Yesterday we, and everyone else, reported Phil Schiller’s comments to the Shanghai Daily News that Apple wasn’t interested in making cheap iPhones just to grab marketshare, that story was in direct contrast to recent stories like the oft-cited WSJ article claiming a cheaper iPhone was in production. This morning Reuters has retracted their report on Schiller’s comments because of “substantial changes” to the source content.

Update: We have some clarity about what Phil Schiller did, and didn’t, say during the interview. Posted below.

This is the statement from Reuters:

Reuters has withdrawn the story headlined “Apple exec dismisses cheaper phone as a market share grab-report” which was based on a Shanghai Evening News report that was subsequently updated with substantial changes to its content.- Reuters

Which says less about the issue than Apple execs about what the next iPhone will look like. MacRumors notes, however, that at least the online version of the story (translated) is the same now as it was yesterday:

It is unclear exactly what changes Reuters is referring to, as the online version [Google translation] of the Shanghai Evening News piece appears to be essentially the same as when it was first covered by English-language media.

Still, the retraction by Reuters casts significant uncertainty on the original report and raises questions about whether Schiller’s comments were mistranslated or misinterpreted. - Mac Rumors

We’ll keep an eye on this story to see if any additional light can be shown on what Reuters saw as substantial changes to the source to warrant pulling the entire article in the first place.

Update 12:30 PT:

From The Atlantic:

About those cheap iPhones that weren’t, it turns out Apple’s Phil Schiller might not have said the exact words that “they will never be the future.”

Update 3:00 p.m.: So, Schiller never said anything about cheap iPhones to the Shanghai Evening News, turns out. He indicated the company would “make the best products” and “never blindly pursue market share,” explains Reuters in an article about updates the Chinese newspaper made to its original story, which alleged Schiller said otherwise. The Chinese paper also removed any references to a cheaper smartphone and changed its 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.”

That new write-up leaves room for a more affordable phone in Apple’s future. All Schiller indicates is that the company wouldn’t do it without thinking it through. So, after all of that, the cheap iPhone rumor stands.

This puts a cheap (or less expensive) iPhone back on the table. Now we’ll really have to keep our eyes peeled for rumors and prototypes popping up.

HT: AppleInsider