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Apple exec refutes 'cheaper' iPhone rumour

Despite a flurry of rumours, Apple won't be making a cheaper iPhone any time soon, according to senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller.

Schiller reportedly told Chinese-language daily the Shanghai Evening News that "despite the popularity of cheap smartphones, this will never be the future of Apple's products."

The Apple executive's full explanation, as related by The Next Web, reasoned that the firm's profit margins would be threatened if the company started making lower quality products.

"At first, non-smartphones were popular in the Chinese market, now cheap smartphones are more popular and non-smartphones are out," Shchiller was quoted as saying.

"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 per cent, we own the 75 per cent of the profit."

However, Schiller's statement appears to only relate to the quality of any future iPhone's components and build but not necessarily their price points.

As consumers know, subsidised iPhones sold through various carriers can be purchased for steep discount, at least for the device itself, compared to what one would pay for an unlocked version of the phone. Therefore, speculation could still prove accurate in terms of a pricing strategy Apple has planned for emerging markets if not on how it gets to lower prices.

With industry analysts estimating that a low-cost iPhone could rake in upwards of $6.5 billion (£4.03 billion) a year for Apple, such a move may still prove worthy of consideration.