The Weaker Pre-Order Demand of iPhone XR: Isn’t the Cheaper iPhone Appealing Enough?

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The new variants of the iPhone always manage to create a stir in the market, no matter when they’re released; It might be mostly for their sales performance in the smartphone market or a lack of it thereof. In this case, it seems like the latter case is in play. The pre-order window for the iPhone XR just opened. And surprisingly, the numbers are quite different than expected.

iPhone XR Pre-Order Demand

The iPhone XR, when announced, was thought to be the best selling iPhone variant among all three new iPhones. Interestingly, the sales of iPhone XR is expected to account for over 50% of the combined sales of all three new iPhones in the second half of 2018. From the view of a price point, it was considered pretty well-balanced, much more than the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. This estimation was based on its suspected popularity among lower and mid-range smartphone buyers, owing to its massive difference of at least $250 in price from the rest of the two variants.

However, reality has been slightly different until now.

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According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in the first three days of availability, the demand for iPhone XR pre-order was better than that of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus over the same period of time. On the flip side, despite being lower-priced iPhone, the pre-order of iPhone XR remains comparatively lower than iPhone XS and iPhone XS max.

But that’s not all; As shown in the above graph, the demand for pre-order of iPhone XR might not have the peaked, compared to what iPhone XS and XS Max have experienced, but it will perform better over the period of time. The iPhone XR will drive more customers to upgrade their handsets compared to a year old iPhone 8 series. Regardless, it is all speculation right now. The above statistics on sales is going to paint a much better picture as to how this device is going to thrive in the future.

The iPhone XR is also expected to have a much steadier sales graph as opposed to the other two variants.

For starters, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max performed surprisingly well in the market, especially in the US. According to CIRP report, combined, iPhone XS and XS Max managed to account for a significant 16% of the total US iPhone sales in the entire fiscal Q4 2018. This is notwithstanding the fact that they were released just 10 days prior to the closing of the fourth fiscal quarter of the year.

On top of that, the demand for the flagship iPhone XS and XS Max, and the iPhone XR differ mainly due to the difference in people buying it. The iPhone XS and XS Max were gobbled up by the Apple fans. These are the people who are just waiting to buy the newest iPhone variant as soon as it gets off the supply line. But on the other hand, the iPhone XR is for customers who are used to operating on an iOS device but have a limited budget. They are not going to buy every new iPhone off the line unless they find a need for it and then manage to squeeze it in their budget.

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If the iPhone XR is to be written off solely based on their comparison with the other two variants, it would be incredibly harsh.

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