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Popular iPhone XR 'saved' Apple, says report

Apple's iPhone XR

An online marketing group has published research data that shows how important the iPhone XR was to Apple — and claims that it even 'saved' the company.

Global affiliate marketing group Awin claims that the success of the iPhone XR was so significant that it "saved Apple." Despite lacking the features of its more expensive siblings last year, the company's research data says that it dramatically outsold those other phones both at launch and has consistently done well since then.

Awin is not an Apple reseller, but it has a global network of advertisers and derives its data from that ad network. Specifically, the data is harvested from the ads that it serves, and what devices are used to view them.

"Whilst our data shows a rather healthy launch for the XS," says the company in a blog post, "the XR's launch the following month was +146% times larger. It seemed that for the average consumer the price saving was worth the loss of features, and the iPhone XR looked the part of a new iPhone and that was what mattered most to users."

That yellow spike in the numbers is the iPhone XR. (Source: Awin)
That yellow spike in the numbers is the iPhone XR. (Source: Awin)

That presumption about looks being key notwithstanding, Awin's actual data suggests that the iPhone XR has been a consistent source of revenue for Apple. It appears to have been much more profitable and steady than even the previous year's iPhone X.

Analysing its data back to January 2018, Awin claims that the iPhone X was quickly beaten in sales by Apple's cheaper iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models.

"However, following its launch, the iPhone XR has continued to be the best seller not only within the iPhone market, but amongst all handsets sold across the network," continues the company.

"Our look at the top handset manufacturers in 2018 would have suggested that Apple was likely going to lose share in 2019, however, the data to date shows Apple's share has grown even despite gains from the likes of Huawei and Google. We believe the data shows that the iPhone XR is the sole reason for this. You could even say that the iPhone XR saved Apple."

How Apple's brand share changed over 2018 and 2019 to date. (Source: Awin)
How Apple's brand share changed over 2018 and 2019 to date. (Source: Awin)

The company expects that price-conscious buyers will make the iPhone 11 be the bestselling iPhone of the new range. "However, the iPhone XR remaining on sale... may allow Apple to test performance against the likes of Huawei."

Awin surmises that the success of the cheapest iPhone reflects a problem all companies are having with explaining the benefits of their higher-price offerings.

"The fact that a brand as powerful and as valuable as Apple was unable to convince consumers to go for a higher quality product shows the challenge in consumer education within the technology and telecoms sectors," says the company.