Apple's cheaper iPhone XR rocks bright colours

Gerald Bowen
September 14, 2018

Compared with the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max - which start at $999 and $1,099, respectively, with the Max topping out at an eye-watering $1,449 - the XR is poised as a reasonably priced alternative.

Like the iPhone X, the new devices are meant to pronounce the "X" as 'ten, ' but many have already read it as X, causing some rather unfortunate pronunciations of the iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone Xs.

The iPhone XR starts at $749, £749 and AU$1,229 for the 64GB version. The iPhone Xr is coming later than the other devices, and will be available to pre-order from October 19th, with the phone arriving a week after on October 26th.

That may be because the new iPhone XS has the same starting price, meaning Apple would have to offer the iPhone X at a discount. Although there's only one 12-megapixel camera on the XR's glass backing, some software work with iOS 12 means you don't sacrifice portrait mode shots.

Here's the theory: If Apple followed its protocol and offered the $999 iPhone XS as well as a phone that is nearly exactly the same but $100 cheaper, it would most likely confuse customers and cannibalize sales.

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The two phones are nearly identical in design and features, with the XS being a refinement of last year's phone.

The dongle, or an adapter, allows users to connect a pair of 3.5mm headphones into a lightning jack. The first has a 5.8-inch AMOLED panel, the second has a 6.5-inch AMOLED display (the biggest screen ever seen on an Apple phone) and the third is in the middle with a 6.1-inch display and the LCD technology. But beware that if you're planning to buy an iPhone 8, it won't come with a dongle, either. Why pay $999 for the awesome screen on the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max when you could effectively buy the same phone for $100 less?

Both of these factors might explain Apple's thinking.

This has led to the iPhone XR being variously described as "cheap", "entry-level", or the "budget" iPhone for this year.

We know that the advanced custom OLED screen on the iPhone X was extremely expensive.

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