Following months of speculation, Apple CEO Tim Cook has all but confirmed that the firm will launch a low-cost iPhone.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference, Cook didn't confirm such a device's existence but didn't deny that a cheaper iPhone is in the pipeline. "We are making moves to make things more affordable," he responded when asked about a low-cost variant of Apple's flagship device.
He added that "our north star is great products ... We wouldn't do anything we considered a cheap product. That said we have done things to appeal to people more price sensitive." He referred to an example in the lower pricing for the iPhone 4 and 4S.
"When we came out with iPod it was $399, today you can buy an iPod Shuffle for $49. Instead of saying how can we cheapen this iPod to get it lower, we said how can we do a great product, and we were able to do that. The same thing, but in a different concept, in some ways."
He also shared similar remarks regarding the Mac division. "We concluded we couldn't do a great product, but what did we do - we invented iPad. Now all of a sudden we have an incredible experience and it starts at $329. Sometimes you can take the issue and you can solve it in different ways."
Although marketing VP Phil Schiller stated that Apple will never offer a cheap smartphone, a plastic iPhone without a home button was recently patented. The device, which is expected to generate upwards of $6.5 billion for Apple, will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.