Tech analysts and reporters have some interesting things to say about Apple’s new “low-cost” iPhone XR.
Some reports indicate the XR will account for over half of new iPhone shipments. Other reports suggest the XR will be more important in 2020.
The first report comes via DigiTimes. According to the Taiwan-based news site, the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR are expected to pass 85 shipments million in the latter half of 2018.
That estimate is based on supply-chain information and Apple’s past iPhone sales history.
Further estimates expect total shipments, including older iPhones, to pass 127 million units in the second half of 2018. Finally, iPhone revenue is expected to pass $100 billion U.S. in the same time frame.
iPhone XR will matter more in 2020
Despite this, tech analyst Ben Thompson, who runs an analysis website called Stratechery, writes that the iPhone XR will matter more in two years.
Thompson’s argument is that the XR features the best parts of the XS and a premium look that will make it appealing. He contrasts the new offering with Apple’s previous ‘budget’ option, the iPhone 5c.
Essentially, Thompson thinks that Apple’s ‘trickle-down’ product strategy will make the XR one of the best low-cost phones in the next two years.
Apple has used that strategy for some time. Essentially, every year when the company releases a new iPhone, the previous year’s flagship gets a price reduction. The older models become the low-cost entry options for people who don’t want to splurge on the newest phones.
Apple has effectively set up a low-cost entry that will be incredibly far ahead of phones released two years from now.
The XR is full of industry-leading features
According to Thompson, the A12 Bionic chip is so far ahead of the industry that it’ll remain competitive with the best Android smartphones in two years. The XR shares that chip with the XS.
Additionally, Thompson points to premium features like Face ID and the high-end camera — both of which are industry leading.
Finally, Thompson acknowledges what’s left out. There’s no 3D Touch, but Haptic Touch accomplishes the same goal. And who actually uses 3D Touch anyway?
The XR features an LCD screen instead of an OLED panel too. However, as good as OLEDs are, we don’t think its worth an extra $350.
Thompson also points out that the XR likely won’t cannibalize XS sales. Last year’s iPhone X proved that price is no object for Apple’s best customers.
That’s doesn’t mean the ones who buy a new iPhone every year, according to Thompson. It’s the people who only want the best new iPhone.
Even if the XS doesn’t sell as well, Apple will be more than okay. The company managed to raise the average selling price of its whole line of iPhones. Even the ‘good deal’ iPhone XR is $100 more than the 8 was at launch.
Regardless of when and why the XR succeeds, people are talking about it. The iPhone XR is one of the most compelling iPhones to date and will likely be a popular upgrade option.