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Apple's Tim Cook hints at cheaper iPhone, prepaid possibilities to come?

Sean Hollister
02.28.11
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Apple COO Tim Cook got all buddy-buddy with Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi this week, talking about Apple's business strategy -- nothing out of the ordinary there -- but this morning, that analyst decided to publicly paraphrase an intriguing part of the interview. Guess what? It sounds like a cheaper iPhone may indeed be in the cards:

While Tim stopped short of explicitly stating that Apple would pursue a lower price iPhone, he did state that Apple was working hard to "figure out" the prepaid market and that Apple didn't want its products to be "just for the rich," but "for everyone"; he also stated that Apple "understood price is big factor in the prepaid market" and that the company was "not ceding any market." Cook noted that Apple executives – including himself – had spent "huge energy" in China, noting that it is "a classic prepaid market." He further noted that the handset distribution model was poorly constructed and that Apple would look to "innovate" and do "clever" things in addressing that market.
As you can see, there aren't any statements of fact here, just some general strategy ideas, but if Apple indeed plans to put an iPhone in every pot, it would be helpful if it didn't have to rely on the carrier subsidy model.

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