Apple has not always been “just” a premium brand…this is a label that has been applied to them many times over the years due to their consistant strategy of producing the “best” mobile device: The iPhone and the “best” PC: The MacBook Pro (or AIR), but it has not always been the case….
It doesn’t take much of a history lesson to uncover several notable situations where Apple chose not to deliver the “premium” product in a given category….the original iMac is probably the best example.
At the time the iMac was introduced, it was by no means, the “best” computer on the market. It was a very simple, somewhat affordable, playful all-in-one device which fit the bill for college students who had never owned a first computer. It wasn’t the iPhone of it’s time….there were plenty of other, more powerful, “better” devices on the market which could be purchased for a similar price.
It was, however, an “Apple” device: Simple, different, fun.
I think it wouldn’t necessarily be wise to assume Apple is incapable of rolling out products which use different marketing positioning and pricing strategies based on the competitive landscape…a cheap iPhone, for example, wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea given that India and China (where many may not be able to afford the higher end iPhone) are much bigger growth markets than the United States….