iPhone XS Series Models Now $100 Cheaper at Apple Retail Stores

Following its iPhone 11 series announcements on Tuesday evening, Apple has shaved $100 off the price of its remaining retail stock of previous generation iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models.



Brick-and-mortar Apple stores are now offering iPhone XS models with 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage for $899, $1,049, and $1,249, respectively.

The larger iPhone XS Max now starts at $999 for the 64GB model, rising to $1,149 for 256GB storage, and $1,349 for the 512GB capacity.

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are no longer listed on Apple’s online store, having been superseded by the new iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, which are set to launch on September 20.

Out of Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup, only the iPhone XR is still available to order online, alongside its successor, the iPhone 11, which also launches September 20. Pre-orders for the all-new models begin on September 13.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone XS (Don’t Buy)

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Survey Finds iPhone XR Remained Best-Selling iPhone Model Last Quarter in United States

iPhone XR remained the best-selling iPhone model in the United States in the first quarter of 2019, as it was in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a survey conducted by research firm CIRP and provided to MacRumors.


The research firm found that the iPhone XR accounted for 38 percent of U.S. iPhone sales during the quarter, ahead of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with a combined 21 percent of sales during the three-month period.

If accurate, the data is rather unsurprising, as the iPhone XR has the lowest price of the three new iPhones that Apple released in late 2018. The colorful handset starts at $749, compared to $999 for the iPhone XS and $1,099 for the iPhone XS Max, with many reviews labeling it the "best iPhone for the money."

Moreover, in January, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the iPhone XR was the most popular iPhone every day since it launched.


CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz:
iPhone XR continues to dominate US iPhone sales. It remains the best-selling individual model again this quarter, after launch early in the December 2018 quarter. In the US, the newest iPhone models sold about as well as the newest models a year ago, at about 60% of total sales. Based on these trends, we estimate an Average Selling Price of around $800, a decrease from the previous quarter.
The usual caveats apply, including that Apple no longer discloses iPhone unit sales, nor has it ever provided a model-by-model breakdown of iPhone sales. CIRP bases its findings on a rather small survey of 500 customers.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR
Tag: CIRP

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Apple Requiring New and Updated Apps to Support iPhone XS Max and 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Starting March 27

Apple today announced that all new and updated iPhone and iPad apps submitted to the App Store on and after March 27, 2019 must be built with the iOS 12.1 SDK or later and support the iPhone XS Max and/or the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro. App Store screenshots for those devices will also be required.


Likewise, all new apps and app updates for Apple Watch will need to be built with the watchOS 5.1 SDK or later and support the Apple Watch Series 4.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone XS

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Apple Launches New Spring Colors for iPhone Cases and Apple Watch Bands

Alongside the second generation of AirPods, Apple today refreshed its iPhone case and Apple Watch band lineup for spring. In Silicone cases for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max you can now choose from Spearmint, Papaya, and Delft Blue.


The iPhone XS Smart Battery Case is now available in a Pink Sand color option, after first launching in just White and Black.


iPhone XS Leather Cases are gaining Cornflower, Sunset, and Lilac. The same colors can be found for iPhone XS Max Leather Cases, iPhone XS Leather Folio, and iPhone XS Max Leather Folio.


Apple Watch Sport Bands are also matching the new iPhone case colors in Spearmint, Delft Blue, and Papaya. You can get these in 40mm or 44mm to fit all previous generations of Apple Watch and Apple Watch Series 4.


In Sport Loop there is Papaya, Cerulean, Spearmint, and Lilac as well. Just like Sport Bands, these are available in both 40mm and 44mm sizes.


The Nike Sport Band lineup also updated with Black/Hyper Grape, Spruce Fog/Vintage Lichen, and Teal Tint/Tropical Twist. These bands are made with the same fluoroelastomer as Apple's Sport Bands.


There are also new Nike Sport Loop bands, in Spruce Fog, Teal Tint, Hyper Grape, Summer White, and Black.


New Modern Buckle colors include Cornflower, Lilac, and Sunset. These join new Leather Loop colors in Cornflower and Sunset as well.


Lastly, new Hermès options include Rose Sakura/Craie/Argile Swift Leather Double Tour, Bleu Lin/Craie/Bleu du Nord Swift Leather Double Tour, and Etoupe Swift Leather Double Tour. Single Tour bands get the same new colorways.


Head to Apple.com to purchase the cases and bands, and check out our post on the second generation of AirPods for more information on Apple's latest wireless headphones.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, iPhone XS

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Chinese Online Retailers Start Second Round of iPhone Discounts

Online retailers in China have begun discounting iPhones for the second time this year. Reuters reports that several mobile vendors this week announced discounts on iPhone models, including Apple's latest flagship iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

Gadget retailer Suning.Com Co Ltd said it would slash the price of the iPhone XS by as much as 1,000 yuan ($148.95) from its official price. Suning had lowered the prices of other iPhone models in January along with other retailers, but those cuts excluded the iPhone XS.

Pinduoduo Inc, an e-commerce site best known for selling inexpensive goods, has also said it would sell the 64GB edition of the iPhone XS for 6,999 yuan, a drop of over 1,000 yuan from the official price.
JD.com is also reportedly poised to offer discounts on its Apple products, including the iPhone XS and XS Max, which escaped the online retail giant's first major round of discounts in January.

Apple first dropped iPhone prices for third-party distributors in China on January 10, allowing vendors to purchase iPhones more cheaply and pass those savings on to customers. Apple cut prices on most iPhone models, but the XR saw the biggest discounts.

Apple launched the price cuts after seeing iPhone sales fall significantly in China during the holiday quarter of 2018, leading to lower iPhone revenue than expected. One report said Apple was seeing improved iPhone sales in China following the price cuts.

Apple has also partnered with Ant Financial, the finance arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and several state-owned banks to let consumers purchase iPhones via interest-free loans.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in January that the company was reevaluating its pricing strategies in some international markets, returning to pricing that's "more commensurate" with what local prices were last year to boost its iPhone sales.

Cook also said he believes Apple's higher prices were a factor in the declining number of iPhone upgrades that led to a weaker holiday quarter. In some international markets, the strength of the U.S. dollar amplified pricing increases.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR
Tag: China

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Apple’s Limited Time iPhone XS and iPhone XR Trade-Up Promotion Ends March 4 in Australia

Australians looking to take advantage of Apple's limited time iPhone XS and iPhone XR trade-up promotion should act fast, as the offer ends Monday, March 4 in Australia, according to an update to Apple's website.


As in the United States, Apple is offering higher trade-in values for select older iPhone models towards the purchase of a new iPhone XR or iPhone XS. The iPhone XR starts at $1,229 in Australia, for example, but customers can purchase the device for as low as $849 when trading in an iPhone 7 Plus until next week.


The promotion began in the United States in late November and expanded to Apple Stores internationally in late December.

Apple has been heavily promoting iPhone XR and iPhone XS trade-ins with a prominent banner on the homepage of its website, store signage, App Store editorials, emails to older iPhone users, and more since the smartphones launched last year.

In a letter to shareholders last month, Apple said it saw fewer iPhone upgrades than it anticipated last quarter, primarily due to greater-than-expected economic weakness in the Greater China region. Apple said making smartphone trade-ins at its stores easier is one step it would take to improve results.

No end date has been specified for the U.S. promotion as of yet.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR

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Apple COO Jeff Williams ‘Very Aware Of’ Concerns Over Apple Product Cost

Apple COO Jeff Williams spoke at Elon University on Friday, Feb. 22 and spoke of his history in joining Apple in 1998. The Times News covers his talk in detail. Williams also took questions from students in the audience. One student asked Williams if Apple had any plans to reduce prices considering the seemingly large margins on Apple products based on analyst reports.

Williams dismissed those reports, suggesting the actual cost of development isn't considered:
“The stories that come out about the cost of our products [have been] the bane of my existence from the beginning of time, including our early days,” Williams said. “Analysts don’t really understand the cost of what we do and how much care we put into making our products.”
He goes on to explain that to build the Apple Watch's activity tracker, Apple built a physiology lab with 40 nurses and 10,000 participants. Still, Williams conceded it's an area that they are paying attention to:
“It’s something we’re very aware of,” he said. “We do not want to be an elitist company. That’s not — we want to be an egalitarian company, and we’ve got a lot of work going on in developing markets.”
The Times News article goes on to cover Williams' talk about his reasons for joining Apple back in 1998, as well as how it feels to be part of a company that has been so successful.

Pricing on Apple's flagship phones has been cited as a factor in iPhone sales underperformance in the last quarter. Apple's flagship iPhone has increased in price over the years with the most recent iPhone XS Max starting at $1099.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XS (Neutral)

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Study Finds iPhone XS Max Users Experience More Than Twice as Fast LTE Speeds as iPhone 5s Users on Average

iPhone XS Max users experience more than two times faster real-world LTE data speeds as iPhone 5s users on average in the United States, according to OpenSignal, although there are caveats to consider.


OpenSignal says it measured speeds on hundreds of thousands of iPhones across the United States from October 26, 2018 to January 24, 2019 and found that iPhone XS Max users experienced an average LTE download speed of 21.7 Mbps compared to just 10.2 Mbps for iPhone 5s users.

iPhone XS users saw an average LTE download speed of 17.6 Mbps, while iPhone 6 through iPhone 8 Plus users posted average LTE download speeds of between 15.6 Mbps and 17.1 Mbps, as measured by OpenSignal.


OpenSignal attributes the faster data speeds on newer iPhones to improved modems and antenna designs in those devices, such as 4x4 MIMO support in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max compared to 2x2 MIMO on older iPhones, but the results are also likely influenced by socioeconomic factors.

Someone who is still using an iPhone 5s in 2019 could be a price-conscious consumer who is unable to justify the cost of upgrading to a newer iPhone, for example, while relying on a discount carrier with inferior wireless coverage or capped data speeds compared to major carriers such as Verizon and AT&T.

That said, while the results may be somewhat skewed, a newer iPhone should be able to achieve faster data speeds than an older iPhone, assuming it's connected to a cellular tower with the latest LTE equipment.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XS (Neutral)

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Apple Extends iPhone XR and iPhone XS Trade-Up Promotion Until March 25 in China

In late November, Apple launched a limited time promotion that offers up to $100 in additional credit when trading in an iPhone 6 through iPhone 8 towards the purchase of a new iPhone XS or iPhone XR in the United States.


Apple expanded the promotion to additional countries in late December. While no end date has been set in the United States, fine print on Apple's regional Chinese website reveals that the extra credit will be available through March 25, 2019 in China, an extension of the previous February 28 end date in Japan.

March 25 happens to be the rumored date of Apple's next event, where it is expected to announce new subscription-based news and streaming video services — although March 25 in China is March 24 in the United States due to time zone differences.

The promotion is available at Apple Stores in participating countries. It is also offered on Apple.com and with monthly payments in the United States. With the monthly payment option, customers can get a new iPhone XR for as low as $18.99 per month or a new iPhone XS for as low as $29.99 per month for 24 months.

If paying in full, the iPhone XR and iPhone XS start at $449 and $699 respectively with the trade-in of an iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 8 in the United States.

Apple has been heavily promoting iPhone XR and iPhone XS trade-ins with a prominent banner on the homepage of its website, store signage, App Store editorials, emails to older iPhone users, and more since the smartphones launched last year.

In a letter to shareholders last month, Apple said it saw fewer iPhone upgrades than it anticipated last quarter, primarily due to greater than expected economic weakness in the Greater China region. Apple said making smartphone trade-ins at its stores easier is one step it is taking to improve results.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR

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Apple Reportedly Advised Technicians to Push iPhone Upgrades to Customers With Out-of-Warranty Devices

Last month, Apple lowered its revenue guidance for the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year by up to $9 billion due to fewer iPhone upgrades than it anticipated, primarily due to economic weakness in the Greater China region.


A few months prior to the announcement, Apple began heavily promoting iPhone XR and iPhone XS trade-ins with a limited time promotion, prominent banner on its website, emails to older iPhone users, store signage, App Store editorials, and other uncharacteristically aggressive tactics aimed at boosting sales.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman previously reported that Apple reassigned some of its marketing staff to focus on bolstering sales of its latest iPhone lineup in late October, around the time the iPhone XR launched. The report cited an unnamed source who described the efforts as a "fire drill."

In a report this week about Deirdre O'Brien succeeding Angela Ahrendts as Apple's retail chief, Gurman elaborated a bit more on Apple's tactics to promote its latest iPhones, claiming that the company advised its technicians to "push iPhone upgrades to consumers with out-of-warranty devices."

Senior retail staff were also tasked with making sure other employees were suggesting upgrades, according to Gurman:
In December, as Apple executives worried about demand, the company asked retail employees to promote the new iPhones using methods not seen before. Technicians were told to push iPhone upgrades to consumers with out-of-warranty devices. Senior sales staff had to make sure other retail workers were suggesting upgrades, and easels offering generous trade-in deals for the iPhone XR were erected in stores. Apple's online homepage was also replaced with reduced iPhone pricing that required a trade-in of older models.
We presume this refers to Genius Bar technicians at Apple Stores, but there is also a network of Apple Authorized Service Providers, some of which double as authorized resellers that offer the latest Apple products for sale.

It's unclear if the tactics had any influence on Ahrendts stepping down from her position. Unlike her short-lived predecessor John Browett, who reportedly pushed Apple retail employees to aggressively upsell products, Ahrendts focused on the experience with free Today at Apple creativity sessions and more.

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that "customers are holding on to their older iPhones a bit longer than in the past." In a letter to shareholders, Cook said Apple is undertaking and accelerating initiatives to improve its results, such as making it simple to trade in a phone at its stores.

Apple's reported efforts to push iPhone upgrades creates an interesting juxtaposition. On one hand, the company's environmental chief Lisa Jackson recently said customers using its devices longer "is the best thing for the planet," and on the other hand it is more aggressively encouraging customers to buy a new iPhone.

Skip to 1:23:51 mark for Lisa Jackson's comments

Whether the tactics are effective will be harder to gauge going forward, as Apple no longer discloses unit sales in its quarterly earnings report. Apple forecasted revenue between $55 billion and $59 billion in the current quarter, which would be down from $61.1 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR

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