The iPhone XR Is Apple's Real Star

Photo: Alex Cranz, Gizmodo

When it comes to Apple’s current phone lineup, the iPhone XS and XS Max get most of the attention thanks to features such as dual cameras, more luxurious designs and vivid OLED screens. But the iPhone XR is Apple’s true winner. That’s because, for the second quarter in a row, the iPhone XR remains the best-selling phone Apple makes.

That’s according to market research firm CIRP (the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners), which gathered data showing that from 1 January 2019 until the end of March, the iPhone XR was responsible for 38 per cent of all iPhones sold in the US.

On its face, these numbers might seem somewhat obvious, as the $US749 ($1229 in Australia) iPhone XR is significantly less expensive than a $999 ($1629) iPhone XS, but it also highlights some interesting trends about iPhone sales.

That’s because, while the iPhone XR accounted for 38 per cent of US iPhone sales, the iPhone XS was responsible for less than 10 per cent, according to CIRP’s figures. That’s a pretty big dip from the more than 15 per cent sales share the iPhone X pulled last year in Q1 2018.

Meanwhile, despite a slightly higher price tag that starts at $US1099 ($1799 in Australia), sales of the iPhone XS Max were around three times higher than those of the iPhone XS, something that would seem to confirm the sentiment that Apple fans had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of a truly big screen iPhone.

Additionally, sales of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus fell by around 50 per cent, which suggests that people may be starting to feel OK about letting go of Touch ID in favour of a fresh design and screens with smaller bezels.

CIRP also noted that iCloud remains Apple’s most popular service, with nearly 50 per cent of all iPhone buyers opting for some level of paid storage on iCloud. CIRP attributes this to the ease of signing up for iCloud combined with its ability to function as a workaround for a lack of onboard storage.

Unlike other similarly priced flagship phones, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S10e which features 128GB of base storage, an iPhone XR only comes with 64GB of base storage, and it doesn’t have the ability to add more via a microSD card.

With data such as this highlighting the popularity of the less expensive iPhone XR, it will be interesting to see how this affects the pricing of future iPhones, especially with all the rumours about a possible iPhone SE reboot coming later this year.

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