UPDATED: Apple Not Focused On Developing Cheaper iPhone, Says Marketing SVP Phil Schiller

UPDATE: Reuters has withdrawn its original report about Phil Schiller’s interview with the Shanghai Evening News based on “substantial changes” to original story, though its not clear what those changes are. The Shanghai Evening News report remains online here.

Earlier this week, reports that a cheaper iPhone is in the works caused plenty of buzz as observers speculated about how such a device could help Apple target emerging markets, including China. But an interview Apple Marketing SVP Phil Schiller gave to the Shanghai Evening News (link via Google Translate) appeared to refute the rumors. (TNW confirmed with Apple that this was an official interview).

Schiller told the newspaper that Apple is not focused on issuing a less expensive version of the iPhone to grab market share: “We are not like other companies, launching multiple products at once, then hoping one will get the attention of consumers,” Schiller said.

He added that Apple only uses top technology and high-quality components when developing new products.

Reports have circulated since early 2011 that Apple is working on a less pricey iPhone. Such a device would cost roughly half as much as current iPhones and be made with less expensive parts, like a shell made of polycarbonate plastic, or recycled components. A more affordable iPhone would help Apple compete with Android handsets in developing economies including China and India.

Schiller’s interview with Shanghai Evening News comes at the same time as Apple CEO Tim Cook’s visit to China, where he has been focused on opening the way for Apple to gain greater market share in that country.