The Big Problem With Apple’s New iPhone XR

Apple's new iPhone XR is available on the market, but the release hasn't drummed up the usual excitement.

Apple releases new iPhone XR, but where are the customers?
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Apple's new iPhone XR is available on the market, but the release hasn't drummed up the usual excitement.

Apple Stores around the world were strangely quiet Friday, the first day the iPhone XR was available on the open market. Many customers stayed at home, CNet reports. This seems strange, as the iPhone XR comes in an array of colors and offers all kinds of fun features.

Many tech-savvy buyers may already be aware of the huge problem Apple is facing, a problem that will make iPhones more and more unpopular in 2019: they’re behind the times.

Qualcomm and MediaTek have both pushed up their release dates for their new 5G chipsets. This will allow Android smartphones to put the new sets in their upcoming phones, to be released in 2019, according to Forbes.

Meanwhile, Apple won’t have access to the same technology until late 2020. That’s at the earliest. This puts Apple way behind in the cell phone game, and next year could definitely be the year of Android because of this deficit.

Lots more phone makers are likely to change their phone release dates now that the chipsets will be available earlier than expected, but don’t expect Apple to be among them.

Apple is still embroiled in a legal battle with Qualcomm that puts their 5G chipset totally out of reach. Apple is partnered exclusively with Intel, who is more than a year behind Qualcomm in developing the 5G. This means Apple iPhones won’t be carrying the new technology any time soon.

And, as techies know, newer tech is always better tech — or at least, more desirable tech.

According to industry insiders, Apple has no plans to change its strategy for 2019, which means that new iPhones won’t have the 5G technology until 2020 at the earliest.

The iPhone XR is also hitting the market just a month behind the iPhone XS and XS Max, which had customers lining up around the block when it became available in Apple Stores. But soon after the phones made their debut on the market, users began to complain about multiple problems.

The iPhone XS and XS Max were plagued early by complaints of slow connection speeds, problems with the smoothing effects built into the camera, and issues with charging that blossomed into a full-blown scandal nicknamed “chargegate.”

As Friday continues to begin around the world, more Apple Stores will open, so the ongoing story of the iPhone XR could change. But so far, customers just aren’t running to get this latest installment from Apple, and that could be a sign that the cellphone giant is losing some of its massive appeal.