Apple (AAPL) may be releasing a cheaper version of the iPhone, but don’t dare call it “cheap.” Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t directly address whether Apple would release a cheaper iPhone in the future, but he did say that the company would not release any product that didn’t deliver a great end-user experience. Cook said that people should consider how the original iPod sold for $399 but that consumers can now buy an iPod shuffle for just $49 — the quality of the product isn’t worse than the standard iPod, but the company has figured out a way to develop a top-notch version of it that it can sell for less.
“Instead of saying, ‘How can we cheapen the iPod?’ we said, ‘How can we do a great product that will allow us to sell it cheaper?'” Cook explained.
Similarly, Cook said that while people had pressured the company for years to create a cheaper version of its Mac line of computers, the company found that it couldn’t produce one that was of acceptable quality. The solution, said Cook, was to build the iPad and the iPad mini, tablets that delivered some key laptop functionalities but that sold at a much cheaper price than standard Macs.
All of us brings us back to the original point: Cook made it sound as though Apple will indeed release a cheaper version of the iPhone if it can deliver a comparable user experience to its standard model.