“All everybody wants to talk about is the massive opportunity on the low-end in emerging markets. That’s the defense for renewed rumors that Apple will produce not just a ‘cheaper,’ but lower-quality iPhone late in 2013 or shortly thereafter,” Rocco Pendola writes for TheStreet. “That supporters of a less-expensive iPhone have to ‘defend’ the idea tells you much of what you need to know.”

“I expressed concern over a cheaper iPhone but ultimately discounted the rumors. I don’t think Tim Cook is dumb,” Pendola writes. “He will not slum it with a $100 phone made of plastic. Not going to happen. If anything, we have a repeat of iPad mini coming; a situation where people (except for me) expect low-end, but get a slightly less expensive, still premium-priced, high-quality product.”

Pendola writes, “But, let’s assume the rumors are true and Apple mindlessly churns out a cheaper iPhone… I shudder to think of the mess Tim Cook will find himself in a year or three from now if he effectively spits on everything Steve Jobs built at Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Dear analysts, perhaps you’ve forgotten, but Apple doesn’t do cheap – January 10, 2013
Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers – October 23, 2012

Why a cheaper iPhone model makes economic sense; next-gen iPhone, budget model may both sport 4-inch screens – January 9, 2013
Low cost iPhone? Apple has no problem cannibalizing its own business, typically with good results – January 9, 2013
Cheaper iPhone could boost Apple’s market share but ding margins – January 9, 2013
Gene Munster: 60-70% chance Apple debuts $199 iPhone for emerging markets – January 9, 2013
Bloomberg: Apple developing cheaper, smaller iPhone for 2013 holiday release – January 9, 2013
WSJ: Apple prepping less-expensive iPhone – January 8, 2013
Apple to launch low-cost iPhone with 5-inch display for emerging markets in 2H13, sources say – January 8, 2013
Barclays: Cheaper iPhone for emerging markets ‘key’ for Apple – December 4, 2012