Tim Cook Never Said Apple Would Go Cheap!

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tweets per minute had to set some sort of Apple (AAPL)-related record Tuesday.

Of all these posts, a bunch will get retweeted repeatedly simply because the creator of the Tweet has lots of followers. Or because he or she has a fancy name like -- get all French with me here -- Jean-Louis Gassee, and used to work for Apple.

But, as usual, common sense and keen observations -- typically from you -- get lost in the spews of self-styled experts, tech nerds, critics and Wall Street analysts.

Here's a USDA prime cut verbal specimen:

The problem with coverage and analysis from the tech and financial media is that, pardon my bluntness, you would have to search long and hard, deep into the bowels of Hollywood, Washington, or old money Manhattan to find a more self-absorbed, self-indulgent bunch. These cats tend to be too busy listening to what their colleagues are saying to take obvious cues from history and the companies they profess to know so much about.

I'm being too harsh on this particular suspect because he's actually a great read, but, for better or worse, Jay Yarow from Business Insider perfectly illustrates what almost always goes wrong in his story, Our Best Guess About Why Apple Decided To Release The iPhone 5C:
At $550, the iPhone 5C is a bit confusing.

Yarow goes on to question Apple's motives, settling on that its just copying its iPod strategy.

Obviously.

But he's confused. Presumably, if Apple produced a phone that qualifies as "cheap" for most people -- maybe $100 or $200 or $250 unsubsidized -- he wouldn't find himself in the same cognitive pickle as most of the rest of his tech media cohort.

Here's the problem: As the Tweet at the beginning of this story says, there never was a cheap iPhone. CEO Tim Cook never -- not once -- said anything about cheap. This was a figment of many lazy imaginations.

Instead of putting words in Cook's mouth and creating yet another self-fulfilling Apple meme, the tech media could have considered ...
Apple Insider, Pegatron CEO: Apple's 'low-cost iPhone' will not be cheap, June 2013

... or something I -- and others -- have repeated throughout the year in articles such as If Apple Goes Cheap It Will End Up Firing Tim Cook:
Apple already has a cheap iPhone: It's called the 4 and 4S.

Now, it's just the 4S at FREE with a two-year contract.

And you have a higher quality than expected iPhone 5C that fills the void left by the discontinued iPhone 5. It's not a cheap phone, just cheaper than the iPhone 5S, which starts at $199 on-contract and $649 unsubsidized. Apple priced the 5C at $99 and $199 on-contract and $549 and $649 unsubsidized for 16GB and 32GB models, respectively.

So, yeah, from a color and cost standpoint this basically blends Apple's iPod and iPad mini strategies.

If you have concerns about Apple losing its way under Cook, the move to not follow the rumor mill and go cheap probably doesn't completely erase those fears, but it should partially alleviate them. Apple could have made an easy Android-like grab at market share or collected low-hanging fruit in China and India. But Cook refused. That's called doing what's right.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.

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