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Cheap iPhone will 'never be the future of Apple'

Cheapness will "never be the future of Apple products" says Apple bigwig Phil Schiller -- casting doubt on rumours of a cheaper iPhone.

Cheapness will "never be the future of Apple products" -- apparently putting paid to rumours of a cheaper iPhone or iPhone mini.

Speaking to the Shanghai Evening News, Apple's marketing boss Phil Schiller ruled out the possibility of a cheap phone from the Californian company.

A budget version of the iPhone is heavily rumoured. The iPhone 5S or iPhone mini or whatever it might be called would take on the wide range of Android smart phones that are more affordable than the iPhone. But Schiller points out that despite iPhone sales making up about a fifth of the phone market, "we own 75 per cent of the profit".

A cheaper iPhone would increase the first number, market share, but the lower revenue generated by each sale means the impact on the second number wouldn't necessarily be worth devaluing the brand. Apple has meticulously carved out a premium reputation for its products, and a budget phone could damage that.

That said, Schiller is talking about cheap phones in the sense of phones that lack the quality of pricier blowers. But with the iPad mini, and before it iPod spin-offs like the iPod mini and iPod nano, Apple has a history of making devices that are still of the same high quality but are, whisper it, cheaper. We still won't rule out an iPhone mini completely.

On the other hand, you could argue that we already have a cheaper iPhone: it's called the iPhone 4. And you could argue that we already have an iPhone mini -- it's called the iPod touch.

Do you think Apple should make an iPhone mini, whether it's physically smaller or just a bit cheaper? Can Apple afford to let Android dominate the middle of the market? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.