Tim Cook: Apple never had an objective to “sell a low-cost phone”



Given that many — yours truly included — thought Apple(s aapl) would be releasing a low-cost iPhone, it’s interesting to hear what Tim Cook says about such a product and why device usage is more important than market share. This interview with Cook, as well as Ive and Federighi, offers insight into the low-end handset market and why Apple isn’t likely to ever enter it.


Michael W. Perry

The issue isn’t low-cost or “cheap” as Apple likes to term it. The issue is keeping up with competitors who’re offering comparable quality products at one to two hundred dollars less. Over time any gap that Apple perceives between it and its competitors is likely to decrease. At some point, good enough is good enough and price becomes the determining factor. That’s what almost killed Apple in the mid-nineties.

For instance, just two days ago I picked up a $15 cell phone from AT&T to tide me over until I can make a transition from T-Mobile to Verizon. In some ways that phone is a mere toy, but in others ways it is most impressive.

A few years back, quad-band GSM phones–often called World Phones because they’ll work almost anywhere it the world–were very pricey. Not so anymore. That $15 Alcatel 510A is a quad-band World Phone. Even its very cheapness makes it a good travel phone since getting it stolen is no big deal.

One by one, the features that allow the pricey smartphones to justify their high cost will shrink in importance. You can see that with the iPhone 5s. I’d love to have one to replace my aging 3gs, but since I’m not a gamer, there’s little it can do that 3gs can’t already do. It lets me take notes on the go, check my schedule, and look up the weather or bus times. What else do I need? Not much if anything. It’s become good enough.


read it. The biz week article makes great points, but sadly, it ends with the old marketshare-repeat-of-PC-wars drivel.

Why sad? Because Apple has more than enough users, App ecosystem, and internally enough cash, talented people, and vision to out-innovate the competition in the market that matters – people with money who want devices that do stuff for them EASILY.

More importantly, the biz week article’s author apparently does not understand (or does not wish to explain) that the 5S created a technological lead of at least a year, maybe several. The 5S’s leadership will become apparent: 1) when users use its camera; 2) when developers work with an A7/M7 based iPad.

Apple has changed the world again.

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