Apple Contacted Chinese Newspaper to Amend “Cheaper” iPhone Story [Update]

Earlier this morning Reuters suddenly pulled their article that cited Apple had no plans to pursue a less-expensive iPhone, information from an interview Apple SVP Phil Schiller had with the Shanghai Evening News.

Now, in a follow up article Reuters clarifies why it pulled the original story. It was because the Shanghai Evening News (SEN) had adjusted its original story after Apple contacted the latter to amend the article:

But in a new version of the story published after the original, the Shanghai Evening News removed all references to cheaper smartphones, except for a mention of a “cheaper, low-end product.” It also amended its original headline from “Apple will not push a cheaper smartphone for the sake of market share,” to “Apple wants to provide the best products, will not blindly pursue market share.”

Apple confirmed the interview had taken place and that it had contacted the Chinese newspaper about amending its original article, but had no further comment and declined to provide a transcript of the interview.

The new quotes within the SEN piece cites Schiller as saying the following:

“We will not discuss plans for any future products.”


“Apple has always focused on providing the best products for its consumers, we’ve never blindly chased market share.”

TNW confirmed with Apple the interview between the SEN and Schiller had taken place and their third party translation pulled out the following quotes:

“Despite the popularity of cheap smartphones, this will never be the future of Apple’s products. In fact, although Apple’s market share of smartphones is just about 20%, we own the 75% of the profit.”

That passage within the SEN is no longer part of the updated story. So from this, there is room for Apple to create a less-expensive iPhone for the sake of making something magical, as opposed to blindly trying to capture marketshare. Was this a case of a story being ‘lost in translation’ and spiralling out of control?

Update: Reuters has an updated story that notes Apple didn’t contact the SEN but they latter made the changes to the original story on their own accord:

A reporter at the Shanghai Evening News who identified himself as Huang Yinlong, whose byline appeared on the stories, said the paper had made some changes, as Schiller’s remarks may not have been presented as clearly as possible.

As well as deleting references to cheap smartphones, paraphrased statements attributed to Schiller in the original version were replaced with direct quotations.

Asked if the paper had made the changes at Apple’s request, Huang said that the paper had made the decision on its own.

“We deliberated about it, and wanted to reflect (Schiller’s) meaning in the interview more accurately, so we made some adjustments”, said Huang, adding the interview was conducted in Beijing on Tuesday.

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