Reuters Pulls Story on Phil Schiller's iPhone Comments Following 'Substantial Changes' to Source Article [Updated]
Yesterday, a report from the Shanghai Evening News including comments made by Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller about Apple's refusal to build "cheap" devices was widely re-reported throughout both the Apple-focused rumor scene and in mainstream media.
Schiller's comments were viewed by some as a direct rebuttal to recent rumors from The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg that Apple is working on a less expensive iPhone for launch as soon as later this year, although he actually appeared to simply be noting that any product Apple releases would not sacrifice quality in order to grab market share at lower price points.
Reuters has now issued a brief statement retracting its re-reporting of the Shanghai Evening News piece, citing "substantial changes" to the source article. Reuters will not be publishing an amended version of its story.
It is unclear exactly what changes Reuters is referring to, as the online version [Google translation] of the Shanghai Evening News piece appears to be essentially the same as when it was first covered by English-language media.
Still, the retraction by Reuters casts significant uncertainty on the original report and raises questions about whether Schiller's comments were mistranslated or misinterpreted.
Update 12:30 PM: Reuters has now published an explanation for its retraction, citing the changes made to the original Shanghai Evening News article.
[I]n 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.