You probably didn’t see it coming, but the hottest 2018 iPhone model in Q4 was not the iPhone XS or the XS Max. Advertisement Consumer Intelligence Research…

The hottest 2018 iPhone in the US is the iPhone XR

You probably didn’t see it coming, but the hottest 2018 iPhone model in Q4 was not the iPhone XS or the XS Max.


Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) have unveiled an upset in Apple’s lineup in the final quarter of 2018. It turns out that of the three 2018 iPhone models launched by Apple the  iPhone XR sold the most in the USA during the last three months.

Shock! Horror! Even American Apple fans are becoming budget conscious?! How else do you explain that the XR, the cheapest 2018 iPhone model, was responsible for 39% of all iPhone sales that quarter though it wasn’t released until October? By way of comparison, the iPhone XS and XS Max models together accounted for only 26% of US sales. 


Of course, there might be some other explanations. I can be dramatic about these things. But the figures don’t lie. All we have to do now is figure out why this was the hottest 2018 iPhone in the fourth quarter of the year.

Another plausible reason could be the upward jump in the price of the other two 2018 iPhone models. The price of flagships by Apple and other mobile manufacturers have been on the upward swing. This is forcing mobile users to slow down their upgrade cycle, as well as look at more affordable alternatives.


The iPhone XR is certainly a more affordable alternative to the XS and XS Max.

iPhone XR is the hottest 2018 iPhone model

Specs Of The Hottest 2018 iPhone

The iPhone XR is a dual-SIM mobile device with a  6.1-inch LCD display, 12MP main camera, 7MP selfie camera, 3GB RAM, and internal storage options of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. It has a smallish 2,942 mAh battery.

It is the first dual-SIM iPhone ever. Perhaps this is also a factor in its runaway sales record. We will wait for the researchers to come up with the reasons.

More Upsets

But the XR’s great sales was not the only upset of Q4 2018. The XS Max pulled another one too.

According to CIRP, the iPhone XS Max outsold the XS in the same period, making the latter the poorest performer of the trio. And that is strange. Usually, the smaller flagship iPhone model outsells the bigger variant.

The iPhone XR has the middle-of-the-road display in terms of size. Its 6.1 inches sits between the XS’ 5.8 inches and the XS Max’s 6.5 inches.

iPhone Xs, iPhone Xr, and iPhone Xs Max


Setting Records

The XR was not just the hottest 2018 iPhone model, it also set some new records with regards to sales from years gone by.

It ramped up the largest quarterly share of sales by any iPhone model since 2016.

For a more comprehensive picture of how well the lowly XR performed last quarter, CIRP says:

The single iPhone XR model almost matched the combined iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in the same quarter last year. iPhone XR also had the largest quarterly share for a single model, at 39%, in the past couple of years, since the then-new iPhone 7 in December 2016, even though it was available only for part of the quarter.

IPhone XR is selling like Hot Cross Buns

The iPhone XR, the baby of the house, is selling like hot cross buns. I doubt that even Apple saw that coming.


But the news is for Q4 2018 only. There is nothing to say that the picture won’t change this quarter. But it is an interesting development all the same.

I am looking forward to seeing how the XR will perform this quarter and all through 2019. Will it sustain last quarter’s trends? Will it be crowned the hottest 2018 iPhone model for the whole year?

That would be something, people. That would be something.

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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi's journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. A lot of people could also have mistake the XR as AR. It’s a theory. I thought so too at first.

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