iPhone XR isn’t a dud. It’s Apple’s best-selling model.

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Long-term iPhone XR demand could eventually lead to greater sales than the iPhone XS.
iPhone XS seems to be selling well, but iPhone XR sales are stronger.
Photo: Apple

In a change for Apple, its best-selling model isn’t its most expensive. A company VP says the iPhone XR has outsold the iPhone XS series since the cheaper device came out last month.

Perhaps this will allay recent nervousness about how well Apple’s latest device is selling.

Greg Joswiak, Apple VP of iOS, iPad and iPhone product marketing, told CNET that the iPhone XR has “been our most popular iPhone each and every day since the day it became available.”

Calming fears about iPhone XR sales

Apple unveiled the iPhone XR in September at the same time as the XS series. But it didn’t hit store shelves until October, about a month after the more expensive models.

Analysts were initially bullish on the XR, with respected  analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities predicting that it will eventually outsell the iPhone XS models. 

More recently, however, unnamed sources from companies that supply components for Apple’s handsets have warned that they expect a slowdown in iPhone XR shipments in the first quarter of 2019. And the Wall Street Journal reported being told by another unnamed source that Apple has reduced orders for both the iPhone XS and iPhone XR.

Apple’s Joswiak could well have made his comment specifically to refute the unconfirmed reports that the iPhone XR is performing poorly. Instead, he told CNET that it “has been the most popular and best-selling” Apple model since its debut.

The situation is quite similar to what happened a year ago, when analysts mistakenly believed the iPhone X was a flop when it was actually Apple’s best selling handset.

A change for Apple

This is probably the first time in at least a year that Apple’s best-selling device wasn’t one of its most expensive. As discussed, the iPhone X was Apple’s best seller for the end of 2017 and much of 2018. It was discontinued at the launch of the iPhone XS.

Apple has been mostly silent about sales of its latest models. The only exception was CEO Tim Cook’s vague statement that “The XS and XS Max got off to a really great start.”

And we now know that the iPhone XR is outselling both its sister models.