Apple introduces powerful, yet affordable iPhone XR

Apple today announced iPhone XR, integrating breakthrough technologies from iPhone XS in an all-screen glass and aluminum design with the most advanced LCD in a smartphone featuring a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display and six beautiful finishes. iPhone XR brings the powerful A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, the TrueDepth camera system, Face ID and an advanced camera system that creates dramatic portraits using a single camera lens. iPhone XR will be available to pre-order beginning Friday, October 19 and in stores beginning Friday, October 26.

“iPhone XR helps us reach even more people with the latest iPhone innovations. It is packed with the newest technologies including a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display that goes edge to edge, the latest TrueDepth camera with faster Face ID authentication, new 7-nanometer A12 Bionic chip with second generation Neural Engine and a 12-megapixel camera that takes advanced Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting photos,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a statement. “The new iPhone XR has a gorgeous new aerospace-grade aluminum and glass enclosure that has IP67 protection from liquids and dust, long all-day battery life and comes in six beautiful finishes. iPhone XR makes it possible for even more people to have the great experience of the latest iPhone X technology, in beautiful new designs, at a more affordable price.”

iPhone XR comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.
iPhone XR comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.

A stunning all-screen design pushes the display of iPhone XR to its edges. The most durable front glass ever in a smartphone is wrapped in an elegantly matched anodized band made from durable 7000 series aerospace-grade aluminum, and the glass back design enables wireless charging.

iPhone XR comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED. A seven-layer color process gives the glass back beautiful nuanced hues, and the aluminum band and camera trim are color matched to give a sophisticated finish. This new design is splash and water resistant, with a rating of IP67, and protects against everyday spills including coffee, tea and soda.

A portion of proceeds for iPhone XR (PRODUCT)RED purchases will go directly to Global Fund HIV/AIDS grants that provide testing, counseling, treatment and prevention programs with a specific focus on eliminating transmission of the virus from mothers to their babies.

The beautiful 6.1-inch all-screen Liquid Retina display is the most color accurate in the industry, with wide color support and True Tone for a more natural viewing experience. Precision-milled glass, advanced pixel masking and sub-pixel antialiasing allows the display to follow the curves of the device, while a new backlight design enables the display to stretch into the corners.

iPhone XR supports fast and fluid iPhone gestures like tap to wake, swipe up to the home screen, swipe down to access notifications and the Control Center, and the new haptic touch feature for pressing on the home screen to instantly launch the camera or flashlight.

A12 Bionic Chip with Next-Generation Neural Engine

The Apple-designed A12 Bionic, the smartest and most powerful chip in a smartphone, features the first 7-nanometer chip ever in a smartphone that delivers industry-leading performance in a more power-efficient design. A12 Bionic features a six-core fusion architecture with two performance cores that are up to 15 percent faster, four efficiency cores that are up to 50 percent more efficient, a four-core GPU that is up to 50 percent faster, powerful Apple-designed Image Signal Processor (ISP), video encoder and more. All of this unlocks new experiences for games, photography, video editing and graphics-intensive apps while still offering great battery life. Even with all this power, iPhone XR lasts up to an hour and a half longer than iPhone 8 Plus.

The next-generation Neural Engine is built for advanced machine learning in everything from photography to augmented reality. A new eight-core design allows it to complete up to 5 trillion operations per second compared to 600 billion in A11 Bionic. This enables new capabilities like faster plane detection for ARKit and new features that use real-time machine learning. For the first time the Neural Engine is open to Core ML, empowering developers to build apps that utilize this highly efficient machine learning engine. Core ML running on the A12 Bionic Neural Engine is up to nine times faster than on A11 Bionic, with as little as one-tenth the energy usage.

Face ID, The Most Secure Facial Authentication System Ever in a Smartphone

Face ID is faster on iPhone XR, enabled by software optimizations and a faster secure enclave. The TrueDepth camera system uses precision depth-sensing technology that goes far beyond the capabilities and security of two-dimensional facial scanners to unlock iPhone, use Apple Pay, gain access to secure apps and many more features with just a simple glance.

Advanced Single Lens Wide-Angle Camera

iPhone XR features a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture wide-angle lens with an all-new sensor, delivering faster auto-focus, while larger and deeper pixels improve image fidelity and low-light performance on photos and videos. Improvements to the ISP, Neural Engine and improved software algorithms enable portrait photos with a beautiful bokeh effect. Smart HDR brings better highlight and shadow detail across photos.

New Depth Control allows users to adjust the depth of field both in real-time preview and post-capture to create striking portraits with a beautiful bokeh effect. Selfies have never looked better with an enhanced Portrait mode on the front-facing TrueDepth camera and Portrait Lighting for dramatic studio lighting effects.

Wireless Technologies

iPhone XR uses LTE Advanced for fast download speeds and introduces Dual SIM5 through the use of a nano-SIM and digital eSIM.

Featuring iOS 12

iPhone XR comes with iOS 12, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. iOS 12 changes the way iOS users see the world using augmented reality, helps people rediscover and share photos, and makes communications more expressive and fun with new Animoji and Memoji. Screen Time helps customers understand and take control of the time they spend interacting with their iOS devices, Siri Shortcuts give any app the ability to work with Siri and new privacy features help protect users from being tracked on the web.

Pricing and Availability

iPhone XR will be available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models in white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED starting at $749 (US) from and Apple Stores, and is also available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary).

Customers will be able to pre-order iPhone XR beginning Friday, October 19 with availability beginning Friday, October 26, in more than 50 countries and territories including Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UAE, UK, US and US Virgin Islands.

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: An uncompromised, state-of-the-art iPhone starting at just $749 is a winner!


  1. What is missing from this iPhone that the XS has? I’m hard pressed to say. The screen is obviously different. No extra wide soundstage, or recording video in stereo. Not big deals to me.

    Do you see something profound that the XS has that the XR is missing?

    1. I don’t know if it’s profound, but the Xr is even more impossible to use as a normal phone. All of the X phones are tablet-sized though. Even the Xs cannot be used with a normal sized hand. You need to set your briefcase down on the sidewalk or in the grass and use both hands. It cannot be used by someone while walking and carrying a briefcase or even just walking normally with out being hunched over it and using both hands.

      They should make an X-pro. A normal size high-end edge-to-edge screen phone for professionals. The SE not high end or full featured, and anyway is getting long in the tooth and I’m not sure they are going to keep selling it anymore.

      1. The Xs can be used with normal sized hands. Some with tiny hands might have a problem, though.

        I could see them making a tiny XR type phone in the future, but I very much doubt the smallest phone Apple makes would ever be referred to as “Pro”. Maybe XSE.

        1. Yes, big enough “hands,” that’s the problem. A busy professional usually needs to use his or her phone with ONE hand. Someone who always has the leisure time and two free hands free yet somehow has sufficient disposable income to afford the X won’t mind holding with one hand and controlling the phone with the other.

          Watch busy professionals. They cannot walk around hunched over a phone using two hands. They are in a hurry and they often do not have two hands free, because they are always working. How about a normal-sized yet full-featured up-to-date phone for us? I’d pay well over $1000 for an iPhone Xpro.

  2. As my wife commented during the presentation. The “R” stands for we the “Regular People” who are the working class who can not afford the top end iPhones.

    Thanks MDN. SMUGly Yours.

    1. $749 is not for regular people IMHO. I can buy a brand new SE right now for $275. Certainly not the same high end specs that I do not need. You don’t miss what you never had. $500 is more like it for regular people …

            1. Nah, it’s not just the exchange rate.

              1 USD = 1.39170 AUD, so if exchange rate were the only factor US$749 would be AU$1042.38. There’s still AU$186 unaccounted for.

        1. I would pay $1300AU for a 4.5 to 5 inch iPhone Xpro. It isn’t going to happen though, I suppose. I’ll use my iPhone SE until it doesn’t work anymore and get something to replace it’s primary functionalities. Maybe I’ll leave the Apple ecosystem. Windows 10 is finally a decent operating system. I won’t buy another tablet phone though. I tried the iPhone 6 and it didn’t work for me.

          Steve Jobs wouldn’t have let this happen.

        1. You are wrong. They may have disappeared today from the online Apple store. But I bought a new one for my father on Monday at my local Apple Store. Plenty of third-party sellers and resellers out there, Amazon, E-Bay, Craig’s list and many more …

  3. This is an excellent design. All the iPhone XS features (minus the dual cmaera, stainless, and OLED)and all the power, for $749. This is what the 5c should have been at the time. That 64GB Xr is going to sell an insane amount of units, probably why they need an extra three weeks to ramp production. Three family members have already said they want one, and they’ve been holding on to their 6’s for the last 4 years. This will be a giant quarter for them. Massive.

  4. Not a fan of Face ID, fake Bokeh, glass backs, lack of a physical home button or excessive prices. I do not want a portable Playstation and give not a damn about AR.

    A nice well designed, reliable and waterproof iPhone in the existing size would be nice. And, I already have a 7.

    Apple has telegraphed that they are at an end growing the iPhone in any significant way other than ASP. One Trick Pony.

    1. Totally agree with your assessment. The camera that pro photogs will like is cutting edge, but 12 MP photos is overkill for 90% of the population and everyone that only uses social media. The downside is photos will eat into your storage like a summer berry pie eating contest in Kansas. Spare me emojis on my face and AR, pure kiddie stuff. The rest is feature darling gimmicks that are unnecessary for this consumer. As you pointed out, their most expensive phones have glass backs? Another move to make more money and skimp on quality components for a sturdy housing. My SE has a sturdy aluminum back that feels solid in my hand (case less) and is all I will ever need. Since it is not glass, it will never crack. Will now hold on to it for years now rather than pay the NEW Apple Tax. Lastly, you made an interesting comment on iPhones in the future. How much better can they really get and how much of it is necessary? There are economic laws of diminishing returns and negative returns …

      1. That stupid Tim Cook put a glass back on the new phones because he couldn’t get an induction charger to work through aluminum like brilliant Steve Jobs could have!

        I agree about the SE. I wish I’d bought my wife a new one before it disappeared from the Apple Store today.

        By the way, your guy gave a pretty good 9/11 speech yesterday.

        1. “That stupid Tim Cook”

          Never call him stupid. 😉Clueless at times, the classic example is the Mac line and pro software.

          Well, if I had to choose between an unbreakable back and a wireless charger I will go for the cable every time.

          Yes, agree the SE is a marvelous small form factor phone. Check the stock at the Apple Stores in your area. I just bought one for my dad on Monday.

          “By the way, your guy gave a pretty good 9/11 speech yesterday.”

          It was better than “pretty good” — it was great! Thanks for noticing…

      2. 12 MB’s good for pro photogs? Welcome to 2008. At a bare minimum, I shoot 24 MB RAW.
        The new camera is cute, but it’s the computational part of it that makes it interesting.
        Canon? Nikon? The future’s calling.

        1. I have been shooting RAW since the format (DNG) was introduced around 2004, or thereabouts. The intent of my post was when pro photogs are off the clock, the cameras in the high end phones are useful. I was not implying they would replace Pro camera equipment, but come to think of it: During the keynote a Time magazine cover was shown shot on an iPhone. Movies have also been shot on the older phones. That said, RAW is a storage and memory hog for most end uses. Yes, it RULES for digital quality — but for most folks is overkill as well as 12MP images. Whatever the resolution of the jpeg you post to social media (Facebook. Pinterest, etc.) it is immediately resampled for the Internet at 72 dpi. You know that… 😎

    1. For the high price you get a much faster state of the art chip. Other than that a cheaper protruding camera and Face ID I don’t need and other incremental improvements. Sorry, I can’t justify the price tag of the XR …

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