iPhone XR vs iPhone 11: Apple bets big on cheaper model for revived momentum

Apple iPhone XR successor will come with incremental specifications upgrade along with camera improvements. Apple iPhone XR 2 aka iPhone 11 will reportedly launch at the same price as the predecessor.

| Updated on: Aug 20 2022, 16:51 IST
Apple iPhone XR debuts tomorrow
Apple iPhone XR debuts tomorrow (REUTERS)
Apple iPhone XR debuts tomorrow
Apple iPhone XR debuts tomorrow (REUTERS)

Apple long thrived on the aspirational value of its smartphones. Samsung, OnePlus and many other Android players gradually caught up with Apple's premium phones and offered similar or better features at much lower prices. Soon enough, the perception of the so-called 'status symbol' changed to 'expensive' devices, subsequently impacting Apple's sales in key markets such as India. Last year, Apple tried to fix this with a cheaper model, called iPhone XR.

Apple iPhone XR came with almost the same set of specifications as the premium iPhone XS and iPhone XS Models except for some subtle changes. The cheaper iPhone XR featured an LCD screen and had a single rear camera, compared to OLED display and dual rear cameras on iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Despite the big trade-offs, Apple's iPhone XR has become a huge hit.

Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier this year revealed the company had returned to double-digit growth in India. Analysts believe Apple's revived growth came from the heavy discounts it offered on its iPhone XR. The smartphone has been part of all major e-commerce online sales. The smartphone was sold at 55,000 approximately, down from the original price of 76,900.

"In emerging markets, we returned to growth in mainland China, grew strong double digits in India and in Brazil, and we set new Q3 records in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines," Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors during the company's 2019 Q3 earnings call in July.

The latest IHS market research also confirms the massive success of Apple's iPhone XR. According to the report, iPhone XR was the most popular smartphone worldwide with a shipment share of 26.9 million in the first half of 2019. Apple's iPhone XR is followed by Samsung's mid-range and budget smartphones, Galaxy A10 and Galaxy A50. The report also reveals pricier phones, which now cost $1,000 and above, aren't doing so well commercially.

iPhone XR is the most successful Apple iPhone in last couple of years
iPhone XR is the most successful Apple iPhone in last couple of years (HT Photo)
image caption
iPhone XR is the most successful Apple iPhone in last couple of years (HT Photo)

Apple is now going to launch the iPhone XR successor at its September 10 event. The smartphone will be accompanied by iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Apple's iPhone 11 aka iPhone XR 2 will continue to come with the LCD panel along with incremental specifications upgrade. The phone will also come with an improved camera setup including dual rear cameras with optical zoom support.

One of the biggest takeaways from the recent Apple iPhone 11 rumours is that the new smartphone isn't going to cost more than the launch price of the current generation. Apple iPhone 11 aka iPhone XR2 will reportedly cost around $749 ( 53,700 approximately) - same as the launch price of iPhone XR.

The success of the iPhone XR also paves the way for a cheaper iPhone SE model to tap the lower tier of the premium market, currently dominated by the likes of OnePlus. According to reports, iPhone SE 2 will come with an iPhone 8-like compact screen size and overall design. Tipped to launch in March 2020, Apple iPhone SE 2 could launch with a price tag of $650 ( 45,000 approximately), making it almost half the price of Apple iPhone XS Max. 

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First Published Date: 09 Sep, 15:40 IST