The iPhone XR could be far more important to Apple than we realized

For years, China has been a puzzle that Apple could never quite solve, but at least one analyst seems to believe that the iPhone XR could be the key. In a recent report, Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that most domestic phone makers in China saw sales drop year-over-year during Golden Week (a national holiday taking place in the first week of October). Kuo believes that a lack of innovation is partially to blame, but that the iPhone XR may play a role as well.

In his report, Kuo predicts that while the rest of the market suffers, demand for Apple’s more affordable iPhone XR in China at launch will top the region’s demand for the iPhone 8 series over the same stretch last year.

According to 9to5Mac, Kuo’s report states that Huawei was the only notable Chinese smartphone brand to see a year-over-year increase in shipments. Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and others reported declines, with the industry as a whole dropping 10 to 15 percent in China. Meanwhile, Kuo thinks that the iPhone XR will not only overtake the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in launch sales, but over the course of its life as well, due to its lower retail price.

Apple will open up preorders for the iPhone XR on October 19th, with the first shipments expected to begin arriving on October 26th. Starting at $749 in the US, the iPhone XR features the same A12 processor that powers the iPhone XS and XS Max, and although its display is LCD instead of OLED, its design mirrors that of the iPhone XS. Tack on dual SIM support and a range of color options, and it’s clear why Kuo is so high on the XR.

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