As expected, Apple's (AAPL 0.74%) product announcement event on Wednesday featured both a new version of its Apple Watch and new iPhone models. While all of the new devices look poised to add value to the company's current product lineup, one gadget unveiled during the event was particularly interesting: the iPhone XR.
Announced alongside the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, the iPhone XR presents customers the most affordable way to get their hands on the all-screen design the tech giant debuted with its iPhone X last year.
Here's what you should know about the new device.
About the iPhone XR
Starting at $749, the iPhone XR is $250 cheaper the iPhone X was when it was launched last year. In addition, it's priced well below the $999 and $1,099 starting prices for the brand-new iPhone Xs and Xs Max.
Apple is able to sell the iPhone XR at this lower price by forgoing the new Super Retina OLED display found on Apple's 5.8-inch iPhone Xs and 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max. The iPhone XR instead uses an LCD display. In addition, savings likely come from the XR's aluminum enclosure, as opposed to the stainless-steel finish seen on the iPhone X, Xs, and iPhone Xs Max.
Though the XR may be lacking Apple's best display and finish, it's still packed with some impressive features, starting with its 6.1-inch display size -- bigger than both the original iPhone X and the new iPhone Xs. The iPhone XR also includes key technologies used for the new iPhone Xs lineup, as well as other impressive specifications.
Notable iPhone XR features include:
- Apple's new 7-nanometer A12 Bionic chip with a new Neural Engine.
- Apple's latest TrueDepth camera, enabling faster Face ID authentication.
- A 12-megapixel camera, featuring a wide-angle lens and a new sensor for more rapid auto-focus.
- The most advanced LCD ever used in an iPhone.
- IP67 protection from liquids and dust.
- Six colors, including white, black, blue, yellow, coral, and red.
A growth driver?
Apple's new iPhone XR may help the company address its anemic growth in iPhone unit sales.
In the tech giant's most recent quarter, unit sales were up only 1% year over year. Of course, Apple has easily made up for its slow growth in unit sales with higher average selling prices for its iPhones. Thanks to the popularity of Apple's $999 iPhone X, the product segment's average selling price increased 19% year over year in the company's third quarter of fiscal 2018, helping iPhone revenue surge 20% during this timeframe.
The iPhone XR, when combined with Apple's new iPhone Xs and Xs Max, could help Apple achieve more balance in its iPhone lineup, driving both iPhone unit sales and revenue.
While iPhone revenue ultimately helps Apple more in the near term, higher iPhone unit sales are equally as important because faster unit sales growth means Apple's installed base of users likely grows faster. And a bigger installed base of users can ultimately help drive growth across the rest of Apple's ecosystem via app, services, and complementary product sales.
The iPhone XR will be available for pre-order on Friday, Oct. 19 and available in stores on Friday, Oct. 26. Apple's new iPhone Xs and Xs Max will be available for pre-order on Friday, Sept. 14 and in stores Friday, Sept. 21.