The cheap iPhone rumours just wont go away, with the Wall Street Journal claiming that Apple are looking into attracting potential smartphone buyers put off by the iPhone's premium pricing by introducing a budget-friendly iPhone model.
However, the Wall Street Journal's "people briefed on the matter" don't speak with quite the same authority as Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, who has today once again denied the rumours.
"Despite the popularity of cheap smartphones, this will never be the future of Apple's products," declared Schiller.
"In fact, although Apple's market share of smartphones is just about 20%, we own 75% of the profit."
That pretty much settles that one then. Of course, Phil Schiller could be trying to put people off the scent of Apple's iPhone plans for 2013, but a cut-price iPhone just doesn't make sense.
For starters, any cheapo iPhone would work against the flagship models, cannibalising sales of the more expensive handsets. That'd only lead to reduced profit margins and knock a significant chunk off Apple's total income, what with the iPhone being the company's biggest seller. As well as that, an admittedly second-rate iPhone would cheapen the brand image, one cultivated for many years to be seen as the top-of-the-line-and-expense-be-damned.
As ever, there's a chance a cheap iPhone could still be on the cards, but it's now looking more unlikely than ever.