Phil Schiller talks iPhone Xr, Apple product naming, and much more

“The iPhone XR might be the most interesting phone Apple has made in years,” Chris Velazco reports for Engadget. “Think about it: Apple just released its flagship XS and XS Max to a chorus of positive reviews, and now here it is, a month later, preparing to launch another smartphone that packs many of the same features found in those really expensive ones. For Apple, this is all a little unheard of.”

“To add to the curiosity of it all, the R doesn’t mean much either. Phil Schiller, gingerly gripping a cup of coffee across from me, said the letters Apple uses never stand for something specific. But then his voice softened a little as he started to tell me about what the letters mean to him,” Velazco reports. “‘I love cars and things that go fast, and R and S are both letters used to denote sport cars that are really extra special,’ he said with a smile. That’s not exactly the answer I was hoping for, but I’m not sure what I should’ve expected from a) Apple’s SVP of global marketing and b) a longtime fan of Porsches and Audis.”

MacDailyNews Take: And, just when you thought it was impossible, stupid iPhone naming gets even stupider. Turns out Apple’s stupid naming scheme isn’t a scheme at all, it’s just whatever random gibberish happened to strike Phil’s fancy that year. Finally, it all makes perfect sense!

We can’t wait for next year’s iPhone X sR Super Extra LMNOp Quattro Turbo and the iPhone X sR Super Extra LMNOp Quattro Turbo Max!

iPhone Xr comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.
Apple’s A12 Bionic-powered iPhone Xr comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.

“Of course, Schiller’s is just one interpretation, and the iPhone XR lends itself to many… These years of work have led Apple to build one of its best smartphones ever, even if it’s a little misunderstood,” Velazco reports. “‘If we’re going to push the upper boundaries with XS and XS Max to make something the best, how do we make something that’s more affordable for a larger audience? To make the overall iPhone audience even larger? What choices can we make and still make it a phone that people can hold and say, ‘I have the best too’?’ Those were the questions Apple grappled with while developing the XR, according to Schiller.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Despite its name, the iPhone Xr is obviously an excellent iPhone, packing a performance demon A12 Bionic inside a sleek aluminum and glass body. For those who won’t miss the second telephoto camera, 3D Touch, or the rich OLED displays of the Xs and Xs Max, it’s the perfect iPhone! More importantly, it kills the Home button anachronism on a wide scale and ushers in the fluid iOS X-class experience about which iPhone X users have been raving since last year.

Apple’s inexplicably awful iPhone naming schemes – September 26, 2018
Apple, enough with the stupid iPhone ‘S’ naming already – September 16, 2015


  1. MDN and others seem to care way too much about names. The critical word in the name is “iPhone.” The rest doesn’t matter to most people. Really. Once they buy an iPhone and start using it, it is just an iPhone to most people.

    Most people see “X’ and pronounce it “ex,” not “ten.” OS X, iPhone X, etc. The iPhone Xs is the iPhone “ex-ess.” As long as it sells, who really cares?

    Most people never fully understood the name “iPod touch,” either. Most people called it the “iTouch” and no amount of correction could ever change that. I tried. A lot. Then I gave up.

    The most important aspect of Apple’s naming strategy is that the names are short (thus easy to remember) and are effective at differentiating product lineups. That is all that matters.

    1. Many MDN commenters are nitpickers with nothing better to do. Some of us are professional nitpickers. The rest comprise an assortment of malcontents who just want to lash out against anyone becaus our lives suck.

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