iPHONE XR: AN ENTRY-LEVEL MODEL TO BREAK RECORDS
AN AFFORDABLE iPHONE FLAGSHIP
When Apple unveiled a trio of new iPhones last month, it was the XR that generated the biggest response. A brand new model with a stunning new design, the XR is considered as a “low cost” version of last year’s iPhone X, but with all of the biggest features we have come to know and love, including facial recognition and Face ID, a stunning all-glass display, and the fastest and most powerful smartphone chip ever included in an iPhone. As the new device gets ready to launch to the public, we take a closer look at the new iPhone XR and explore how the model may, unexpectedly, become one of the biggest selling smartphones in the history of the iPhone.
A STUNNING NEW DEVICE
Alongside the announcement of the new iPhone XS and XS Max, Apple’s new highend models, came the iPhone XR. The model was teased in typical Apple style, with a ‘and one more thing’ introduction, and despite its name and specs being leaked just a day before its official unveiling, the XR was met with praise by critics and technology fans after a hands-on. The new model features a stunning all-new Liquid Retina display, which is the most advanced LCD display in the industry. Whilst the new XS and XS Max models came packaged with OLED, Apple opted to keep LCD technology to reduce the manufacturing costs of the device.
Of course, that’s not to say that the XR is not equipped with a stunning screen. Indeed, Apple has engineered a display with an innovative backlight design, which allows the screen to stretch to the corners of the XR, allowing users to see true-to-life colors from
one edge of the screen to the other. The Liquid Retina display is 6.1-inches, has a 1792×828 resolution, and offers 326 pixels per inch. The screen offers best-in-class color management, and, according to Apple, it has the “industry’s best color accuracy” with “advanced color management” to boot. A six-channel light sensor allows the device to adjust its white balance on the screen so that images and content look as natural as on a printed page.
The model is dust and water resistant and comes with Apple’s signature Face
ID technology, which reinvents the way consumers unlock and interact with their devices. The technology uses advanced machine learning to recognize changes in your appearance, so if you were to grow a beard or wear a pair of sunglasses, you’d still be able to unlock your smartphone. Face ID can also be used to log into apps and accounts, pay in shops using Apple Pay, and take advantage of the new Animoji and Memoji available as part of iOS 12, which allows you to create custom emojis based on your physical appearance.
iPhone XR comes packaged with a new A12 Bionic chip and a next-generation Neural Engine, delivering high performance and using real-time machine learning to improve the way we experience our photographs, gaming and augmented reality applications. Thanks to efficiency cores, the new chip is said to use 50% less power than Apple’s A11 Bionic chip, while its 8-core Neural Engine allows for an impressive 5-trillion operations per second, with Core ML running up to nine times faster than on the A11 Bionic chip offering increased processing performance. Combined, the new hardware allows the iPhone XR to power truly efficient gameplay whilst maintaining battery life. With the world’s most advanced smartphone camera and augmented reality tools included out of the box, there’s never been a better iPhone model.
From the moment the device was announced, social media was awash with praise. Thousands of videomakers and journalists suggested that technology fans should ‘hold off on buying the XS and wait for the new iPhone XR,’ with some saying that the additional features that the more expensive XS model offered were negligible.
As part of Apple’s plan to increase the sales of the iPhone XS and XS Max, the company made its more expensive models available for sale first, and so far sales are strong with an even split between the XS and XS Max. Many were holding out for the iPhone XR, however, which officially went on sale on October 26. The week prior, the device was finally made available for pre-order, with some models selling out within just half an hour; their coral and yellow models were particularly popular, now shipping within two weeks.
A MORE ACCESSIBLE iPHONE
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why the iPhone XR is set to perform so well is in its pricing. 2017’s iPhone X was considered a revolutionary device by many, but critics and consumers said that the $999 asking price was just too expensive for an iPhone. The company has maintained its pricing structure for the new iPhone XS and XS Max models this year, with a top of the range XS Max with 512GB storage capacity coming in at an eye-watering $1,449.00. Of course, most consumers purchase their iPhones as part of a mobile plan, and spread the cost of the device over several months and years, but pricing is becoming something of a sticking point for pricesensitive consumers who do not want to spend thousands of dollars - in many cases, more than the cost of a MacBook or MacBook Pro - for a new phone.
The iPhone XR, however, offers a great deal of the same functionality as the iPhone X and XS without the price tag. Although the iPhone XR is kitted out with a cheaper display, comes without 3D touch and has a single-lens rear camera, the majority of these features are ‘nice to have’ rather than necessary in today’s smartphone market. Whilst still on the pricey side, the XR is available from $749 with 64GB storage capacity and reaches $899 on the 256GB model, which will no doubt appeal to customers looking for an affordable device.
SALES EXPECTED TO BE HIGH
Although the iPhone XR has only been on sale for a couple of days, the model is expected to perform well in the run-up to the holiday season. The Cupertino firm is reportedly ramping up orders on its new model as it forecasts higher than expected sales, with Digitimes saying that it expects Apple to ship more than 20 million models in October alone. The analysts also said that the ratio of iPhone XR to Apple’s total iPhone orders was revised upward of 50%, which goes above and beyond the expectations that the new iPhone XR would serve as the next iteration of the iPhone SE, a cheaper model for a small percentage of its user base. Instead, the XR looks set to become Apple’s most popular model.
There’s also the added benefit that the iPhone XR will be shipped with a dual SIM in China. The XS and XS Max will come with the option to hold a physical non-SIM and an electronic SIM card around the world, but the XR will ship with two physical SIM card slots in China to appeal to its growing Chinese consumer base. The ability to run off of two SIM cards certainly isn’t in high demand in the Western world, but Chinese consumers regularly have two SIM cards and use one when traveling or to contact their friends and family in other Chinese states.
THE REVIEWS ARE IN
Ahead of the launch of the iPhone XR, technology journalists and vloggers shared their thoughts on the new device, with Apple lifting the embargo on those with preview models. Tyler Stalman said that the iPhone XR would be “the right choice for most people” and that the XR saw the “biggest change to the iPhone camera in years,” while Mashable said that, after upgrading to the XS, they had a “pang of regret” and that “there is so much of that stuff in the XR” and that the new model should be considered as “the iPhone”. SuperSafTV, who showed off all of the new models, stressed the similarity between the XR and the XS, and that the affordability of the new model would no doubt make it the most popular, while CNET’s Bridget Carey said that she would not miss the absent 3D touch in the new iPhone model and that the iPhone XR came with “all of the features that matter” when compared with the iPhone XS. TechRadar, on the other hand, thought that the new model was going to become the “undercover hit of the Apple launch” and added that while Apple was keen on “shaving off some of the more expensive elements of the iPhone XS” for the new model, the created a “still-impressive package” that the vast majority of consumers would will to purchase.
With the iPhone XR now available to purchase and another Apple event set to bring a new iPad with Face ID and more, it’s set to be a blockbuster year for Apple. The company will no doubt see the new iPhone XR as the key to unlocking additional sales - by offering a professional model and a more affordable
model that includes the majority of the company’s new features, consumers will be quicker to splash the cash and invest in a new smartphone, rather than holding on to older devices for longer. The holiday season is set to be one of the most exciting in Apple history, with record-breaking sales of its iPhone and iPad lines no doubt helping Apple to further grow its impressive market share. Only time will tell whether the XR will become a permanent addition to the iPhone family, but with millions of units already shipping, it’s clear that Apple is on to another winner…
Should You Buy the iPhone XR?
iPhone XR Hands-on - Early Look at All Colors