The iPhone XR Is Apple’s Real Star

Illustration for article titled 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 like 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 January 1, 2019, until the end of March, the iPhone XR was responsible for 38 percent of all iPhones sold in the U.S.

On its face, these numbers might seem somewhat obvious, as the $750 iPhone XR is significantly less expensive than a $1,000 iPhone XS, but it also highlights some interesting trends about iPhone sales.

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

Meanwhile, despite a slightly higher price tag that starts at $1,100, 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 percent, which suggests that people may be starting to feel okay about letting go of Touch ID in favor of a fresh design and screens with smaller bezels.

CIRP also noted that iCloud remains Apple’s most popular service, with nearly 50 percent 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 like 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 rumors about a possible iPhone SE reboot coming later this year.

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.


I’m quite pleased with my XR, though I really wish there had been a current-gen option that was smaller in physical size. It’s too big. And, this being my first iPhone with FaceID, I can honestly say my concerns about it being inferior to TouchID are confirmed. It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly more finicky and annoying at times.