Three new iPhones, all X models, all with Face ID, all brand new inside. Again. True to form, Apple doesn’t mind letting go of the past and moving its 1-billion or so customers into the future. Guess which new iPhone will be the best seller?
Max, No Mini
iPhone X seemed to be a strange outlier for Apple but it became the company’s best selling new iPhone from 2017 to 2018. Outlier? Apple has been on a tick tock regimen for years. iPhone 5 and 5s, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, then iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Last year? No iPhone 7s or 7s Plus. Instead, Apple skipped right to iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
Logically, Apple should have moved iPhone X down the line with a discount, introduced new iPhone X models, and launched iPhone 9 and 9 Plus to take up the mid-range. That seems reasonable, no?
Nope. Apple thinks different.
The old iPhones with a discount are iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and the mid-range model is now iPhone XR.
This is the perfect iPhone model for the masses. How so?
First, it’s an iPhone X. Second, it has the same A12 Bionic CPU as iPhone Xs and Xs Max. Next, it has the same wide-angle f/1.8 backside camera. Finally, it has Face ID, no Touch ID, rounded corner display and micro-bezels. Just like iPhone X should have.
From the perspective of most iPhone customers iPhone XR is an iPhone X. For $749; $250 less than iPhone Xs. It doesn’t take much more than a look at the math to see which iPhone is the perfect iPhone.
Is this really an iPhone X?
Most iPhone customers will not be able to tell the difference between the LCD display on iPhone XR or the OLED display on iPhone Xs. XR will look fabulous and feel fabulous even next to Max and Xs. Apps will run the same. Most photos will look the same. Navigation will be the same.
For all intents and purposes, iPhone XR is an iPhone X but priced $250 less.
If small is beautiful and less is more then perfection must be in the eye of the beholder, and I’m definitely looking at the new iPhones the way Apple looks at the current iPhone line.
What if you want a smaller iPhone?
iPhone SE is gone. iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 have 4.7-inch displays, still a bit larger than iPhone SE, and iPhone 5s, the oldest iPhone to run iOS 12. iPhone SE was $349. iPhone 7, slightly larger, is the new small iPhone at $449; $100 more.
If new iPhone X models next year and the year after move iPhone 7 and 7 Plus out of the line altogether, and the year after that iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are moved out of the line, that would leave iPhone X– at 5.8-inches– the smallest screen. That tells me Apple will launch a smaller model but not until the market has absorbed all the iPhone X models from 2018 and 2017.
Small might be beautiful but cash is king and Apple prefers money over everything else. If there isn’t an iPhone SE next year, then we may never see a small iPhone again. iPhone XR is perfectly positioned as Apple’s perfect iPhone, but perfection is in the eye of the beholder and Apple does not have an iPhone that people with smaller hands and pockets want to hold.