Amid falling consumer demand, iPhone XR preorders now available

October 22, 2018 1:35 pm

Image: Apple

As part of this year’s trio of iPhone devices, one remains unreleased: the iPhone XR. The XS and XS Max released last month.

Now, the XR has been made available for pre-order in the UAE, ahead of an October 26 release. Preorders will be delivered between 28 and 29 October.

Yet, there are signs that demand for iPhone handhelds is slowing down.

Is Apple hype dying down?

It has been becoming tougher and tougher to ignore the signs: the iPhone isn’t the superstar device it once was. Media outlets and the market are taking notice.

“Lines outside Apple stores when the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max went on sale were smaller than they were in years past,” Business Insider reveals.

“We observed there are significant spikes for web searches after the launch event each year. We also see the momentum has been decreasing over time,” Citi Research Innovation Lab, an analyst firm, noted.

(Graph by Citi Research Innovation Lab)

“We believe this indicates the market has been maturing, and customers are getting less excited for each new generation of iPhone,” they continued. “We suspect this is because of a slowdown in innovation and the saturation of iPhone in the addressable market.”

The question is, how much can you innovate? The leap from the iPhone 5 to iPhone 5S saw the introduction of a fingerprint sensor. The jump from 5S to 6 saw a major leap in device size and screen real estate.

READ: Guess who beat both Apple and Amazon to $1trn, but kept it secret

Now, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between last year’s iPhone X model and this year’s XR and XS models, which can be seen as an incremental upgrade at best. Even the innovations that Apple is touting, such as water-resistance and facial recognition, competitors such as Samsung have been offering for years. Motorola released its first water-resistant Android phone in 2009, while Apple competitor Samsung implemented the feature in its flagship S5 in 2014, 4 years ago. The first water resistant Apple handhelds were the iPhone 7 and 7S, released in 2016. In retrospect, 2 years might not seem like much, but given the neck-break pace the smartphone market operates at, 2 years is too many years too late.

This has been a trend with Apple: introducing commonplace features to their latest iPhones then pushing them as revolutionary and first of their kind. It seems users are catching on.

Data by Apple shows that the iPhone’s revenue as a percentage of total revenue stabilized around 2014, showing a slight decrease in the last 2 years. New data should show if iPhone sales will continue to remain stable, or whether users migrate to the myriad other smartphone offerings on the market.

READ: Do Apple’s features in their latest iPhones justify the price tag?

A ‘budget’ option

The iPhone XR, which is geared towards the more budget of Apple’s customers, is arriving on the scene with a starting, supposedly budget-alternative price tag of $865 (AED 3,179). That’s the price for the smallest storage capacity, for 64 Gb of storage space. If you are looking for a beefier iPhone XR, you’ll need to fork over $923 (AED 3,389) for the 128 GB version and $1,037 (AED 3,809) for the 256 GB version.

These prices are according to official Apple listings on their site. Purchasing from a third-party seller will likely net you a stack more.

Again, these prices are the budget alternative to the iPhone XS’ starting figure of $1,151 (AED 4,229) and the XS Max’s starting figure of $1,266 (AED 4649). These prices have been noted to be an incremental increase, one witnessed annually following a new iPhone release.

The phone’s specs and features are an obvious downgrade from the higher-end XS and XS Max models.

The XR, for example, utilizes a cheaper aluminum body and LCD display, compared to its bigger brothers’ stainless steel and OLED. Also, the XR only has one camera lens compared to the duo lenses the XS and XS Max are equipped with.

READ: New Apple phones coming to a Middle Eastern town near you

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Mark Anthony Karam
By Mark Anthony Karam
Journalist
Mark Anthony Karam has 3 years experience in the field of visual and written media, having earned his Masters degree from the UK. You can get in touch with him here: [email protected]



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