Apple’s iPhone XR ‘saved’ Apple and even grew iPhone’s share of smartphone sales

iPhone XR comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.
Apple’s iPhone XR features a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD display and a single lens rear camera

Alex Parmar-Yee for AWIN:

Last year, Apple’s event introduced the world to the improved iPhone X, the iPhone XS and a larger iPhone XS Max. However, the wildcard of the event was the iPhone XR. This device was the budget option, with a cheaper LCD screen vs the XS’s OLED, one less camera and a chunkier, less refined design… Whilst our data shows a rather healthy launch for the XS, the XR’s launch the following month was +146% times larger.

AWIN: iPhone mix 2018-2019
Source: AWIN

Following its launch, the iPhone XR has continued to be the best seller not only within the iPhone market, but amongst all handsets sold across the network… The data to date shows Apple’s share has grown even despite gains from the likes of Huawei and Google. We believe the data shows that the iPhone XR is the sole reason for this. You could even say that the iPhone XR saved Apple.

AWIN: smartphone brand share
Source: AWIN

We anticipate the iPhone 11 will continue the XR’s legacy and remain the bestselling iPhone of this year’s releases… The iPhone XR remaining on sale at £649 may allow Apple to test performance against the likes of Huawei.

AWIN: iPhone model share 2018 vs. 2019
Source: AWIN

MacDailyNews Take: Most analysts and Apple themselves expected and planned for the iPhone XR to be the best-selling iPhone model, just as most analysts and Apple expect iPhone 11 to do the same. The fact that Apple just released the high-end iPhone 11 Pro and flagship iPhone 11 Pro Max at the same price points as the XS and XS Max, show that their strategy remains the same, albeit they’re going for the jugular by dropping iPhone 11’s starting price by $50. It will certainly be interesting to see the mix with iPhone XR remaining in the family and starting at just $599. The performance of the XR in this cycle will tell Apple much about iPhone pricing and mix for sure!

The iPhone XR… will be the mass market iPhone, as Apple intends. They’ll move untold millions of them and, in the process, move 100+ million iPhone users from the antiquated Home button control paradigm into the gestural promised land. — MacDailyNews, September 13, 2018

As expected and intended, iPhone 11 will be the mass market iPhone for this cycle. iPhone 11 Pro is for those who prefer a smaller premium iPhone and for whom battery life is not a concern. Apple’s flagship iPhone 11 Pro Max, our choice and what we’ll be ordering, is the new King of All iPhones with its sumptuous 6.5-inch, 2688 x 1242 resolution, 458 PPI OLED display and the longest battery life in an iPhone (up to five hours more than our current iPhone XS Max units)!MacDailyNews, September 12, 2019


  1. I absolutely believe this article. When I had to decide on my iPhone; I looked at the S and XR. The user value per dollar was in the XR’s corner. It seems that Apple did not learn that lesson and have introduced a 3-eyed feature creature. I predict the two lens model will blow the three lens model away in sales, profit, and market share.

  2. Apple DID learn its lesson in phones: offer a wide range of price points to allow almost any budget to get a well-rounded device as an entry point into the iOS ecosystem. The XR/11 gives the most bang for the buck, but the 11Pro/ProMax capture the business/pro/fashionista/nerdista crowd with mammoth margins for Apple. Why even open the possibility that they might gravitate towards high-end Android models.

    I just wish Apple would learn the same lesson with the MacBooks and Mac mini: Offer an entry level device with adequate storage, fer cryin’ out loud. Currently a modest 1TB SSD upgrade on a MBA, MDP, or Mac mini costs $600. You have to scroll through almost 3 pages of 1TB SSDs on Amazon before you even find one that costs over $200!

    I can buy an iPhone 8 and double the memory to 128GB for a perfectly reasonable $50. Even though it is an older iPhone, it is still a well rounded device. You can’t say the same for an entry level Mac mini or MBP. An entry level 13″ MBP with 1TB (and only 8GB RAM!) is $1900 and is not a well-rounded device. An entry level mini with 1TB (and only 8GB RAM!) is $1400 is also NOT a well-rounded device (no screen, no mouse, no keyboard, no GPU either).

    Apple needs to either lower their SSD prices on their entry-level devices or offer the option of fusion drives in their entry level devices. Having 8 GB of RAM on any Mac is much worse user experience than having a fusion drive. And 128GB in a phone is great. 128 GB in a laptop/desktop is terrible and shouldn’t even be an option. If I’m looking for an entry-level machine which doesn’t even have a discrete GPU, I prolly don’t need the latest, nose-bleed-priced SSD.

    By all means offer your top-o-the-line MBP with the top-o-the-line SSDs and the top-o-the-line price to match for the business/pro/fashionista/nerdista crowd (I use one of these myself, btw.) But offer something for HighSchool/College/average Joe person which has reasonable amounts of storage for reasonable prices. Cover your price points with well-rounded machines.

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