Apple’s iPhone Xs and flagship iPhone Xs Max were totally overshadowed by Apple Watch Series 4 and iPhone XR

“There’s usually one star of the show when it comes to September Apple events: that year’s flagship new iPhone models. That’s usually true even in S-model years,” Ben Lovejoy writes for 9to5Mac. “But it wasn’t the case yesterday. The flagship new iPhones – the XS and the XS Max (I still can’t believe Apple chose that name) – were actually the least interesting things Apple presented.”

“Mostly the problem was that the iPhone XS and XS Max just … aren’t very interesting. I know it’s an S year, but even so,” Lovejoy writes. “Some Apple fans do upgrade their iPhones every year, while others hold out for the S-year on the basis that new features are more interesting than new designs. But while the iPhone X broke that pattern, I’m not sure many iPhone X owners will see any persuasive reason to upgrade this year.”

MacDailyNews Take: The impetus for iPhone X users to upgrade this year, and it is strong here, is the display size of the iPhone Xs Max.

“Let’s talk next about the product I am going to buy: the Apple Watch Series 4,” Lovejoy writes. “I’ll see how it looks in the metal and glass, but I’m already convinced I want this. So much so that I’m going to pre-order it first, go look at one in an Apple store later.”

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll be there at the moment pre-orders begin, too. What a massive upgrade for Apple Watch this year!

“Sure, the XR isn’t the cheapest iPhone in the line-up – that’s now the iPhone 7 at $449. But to offer something very close to the iPhone X/XS/Max form factor at a $749 price point is huge. And the near-bezel-free design also meant including the headline feature of last year’s flagship iPhone: Face ID. Throwing in Portrait Mode means you can now buy an iPhone that gets most non-technical customers the flagship design and features they want at 75% of the price of the iPhone XS,” Lovejoy writes. “The iPhone XR is going to absolutely fly off the shelves. So much so, I think it will cannibalise iPhone XS sales to a significant degree.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The XR is Apple’s “BMW 3 Series.” The Xs and Xs Max are Apple’s “BMW M Models.” All of them sell to and satisfy their respective target audiences just fine. Naturally, one audience is much larger than the other. iPhone XR is a marvelous value. We hope Apple can make enough! The Xs and, especially, the Xs Max are lustworthy!


  1. iPhone Excess – not XS.

    The comparison to the “Ultimate Hype Machine”- BMW is apt.
    You can buy better but you can’t pay more.

    BMW has become exactly what they lampooned in their ads years ago. The are overly large, gas sucking status symbols that sell for well more than they are worth.

  2. It’s only a matter of time before health insurance companies start giving away iWatches to their customers as part of their coverage. These companies will monitor their customer’s health. Not so much for the elderly, but for the younger customers which they can follow over the years. This way they’ll weed out the problem ones.

    These smart devices are creating a virtual map of your personality and now your health. Something to think about.

  3. All that noise and not a whisper about AirPower, the ideal complement to their two new flagship products. Another epic blunder from Apple thats turned out even worse than the Airpods delay of 2016. The iPhone Max and Watch 4 look great, but electrocardiograms and fall detection are only things for senior citizens to get excited about, I don’t want my tech nannying me. Iterative updates to 2 products are not much to write home about from a company worth a TRILLION. I guess the pipeline is so full with those remaining products that we’ve been clamoring for that it’ll burst right before Christmas?

    1. Just for the record, not just “senior citizens” suffer from A-Fib. Heart arrhythmias effect millions of people.

      And even healthy skateboarders can take a tumble on their own where this function could be life-saving.

      Nannying? The functions don’t do anything without either, in the first case, choosing to have an available ECG, and in the second falling or slipping.

      Clearly Apple’s evolving the watch to an ever-increasing number of health-care monitoring functions which in time will help revolutionize real time medical data gathering with wireless transmission.

      And you do plan to get older, don’t you?

      Get over your narcissistic image of invulnerability and appreciate this actually already useful set of utilities which are on the road to becoming much more so as time passes.

        1. 1. I’m all in favor of said early access to affordable health care, but it doesn’t preclude what I said.

          2. Reminders (if you choose to enable them) that your activity level is below optimum or that you’re sitting too much without moving) are preventive – and once you have a capable wearable, no additional cost.

          Prevention is as important as treatment most of the time in the bigger picture, i.e., reducing the need for treating lifestyle-induced health issues.

          2. The technology to have this as an ancillary function will filter down in price down as well. They may well become part of insurance plans, universal or otherwise.

          3. Equivalents of most Apple technologies and designs end up in inexpensive (and expensive, yeah) Android devices over time (and to be fair, some even migrate the other way.)

          Sure, there will also be fancier, and more advanced versions as well. I don’t have a perfect solution for a world of trickle-down tech, but it appears to trickle a lot more equitably and more quickly than wages and standards of living.

          Whatever, knowing you have a reason to seek health care allows early intervention.

          So early steps – however one feels about it – on the road to ever more comprehensive multi-function health care monitors.

  4. MDN has always called the clown-iPhone in the lineup, Apple’s “flagship”. Perhaps because it’s the most expensive? Folks, I can remember when Apple struggled and was justifiably proud of how thin, light-weight and comfortable in the hand, the iPhone was. That was their self-proclaimed “flagship”. Add to that that most purchasers – by far – choose the more savvy-sized iPhone (the s) and there is simply no reason whatsoever to call the clown-phone Apple’s flagship. There is only one reason to buy the monster; because you can’t afford an iPad too, and so buy a “compromise” device (which is. NOT the best of both worlds), instead.

    The iPhone s Max is Apple’s clown-phone, and by no other measure, it’s “flagship” phone.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.