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The iPhone XR is hardly the flop you’ve been led to believe

Published Jan 9th, 2019 5:29PM EST
Apple iPhone XR
Image: Zach Epstein for BGR

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It’s hard to know just what exactly is going on with Apple’s iPhone XR. While early reports claimed that the device wasn’t selling as briskly as Apple anticipated, Apple has since mentioned on a few occasions that the iPhone XR has been the best-selling iPhone model every single day since its release. In light of that, all of the arguments claiming that the iPhone XR is an utter flop seem to be a bit over the top, if not completely off the mark. There is, after all, a difference between a device that is selling slightly below expectations and a device that is barely selling at all.

It’s also worth noting that Tim Cook last week disclosed that Apple’s revised guidance for the holiday quarter was completely attributable to a revenue shortfall in Greater China. In other words, it’s entirely possible that the iPhone XR is selling as expected everywhere else but is not doing well in China due to a variety of factors. All that said, some recently released data from Mixpanel, along with some remarks from Tim Cook earlier in the week, suggest that the iPhone XR isn’t necessarily the disappointment some are making it out to be.

So here’s what we know so far: iPhone XR adoption finally caught up to the iPhone XS earlier this month. That it took the iPhone XR a few weeks to catch up shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that it hit store shelves a good five weeks after the XS models launched.

According to data from Mixpanel, iPhone XR adoption finally surpassed iPhone XS adoption on January 1. Interestingly enough, iPhone XS Max adoption is still higher than iPhone XR adoption but that will inevitably change in light of Tim Cook’s remarks regarding iPhone XR sales.

During an interview with CNBC yesterday, Cook said that the notion that the iPhone XR is a flop is utter nonsense.

“I call bologna on that,” Cook explained. “Let me tell you how I view this. Here’s the truth, what the facts are. Since we began shipping the iPhone XR, it has been the most-popular iPhone every day, every single day, from when we started shipping until now.”

Now is it possible the iPhone XR isn’t selling at the exact level Apple initially anticipated? Sure. If anything, that does seem to be the case. But to go from there and proclaim that the device is a failure — as some have done — is way over the top.

Cook also added that Apple obviously wants to boost sales and that the company has been working behind the scenes to do just that.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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