iPhone XR Was Apple's Best-Selling iPhone In 4th Quarter Of 2018, Research Firm Claims

Recently published data suggests that the iPhone XR was Apple's best-selling iPhone model in the fourth quarter of 2018, despite the fact that the lower-priced device became available more than one month after its high-end counterparts, the iPhone XS and XS Max, were released.

Based on data released Thursday by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), the iPhone XR made up about 39 percent of iPhone sales in the October to December 2018 quarter, giving it a comfortable lead over the XS and XS Max, which combined to make up a 26 percent share of the iPhone market. According to a report from AppleInsider, this backs up Apple's frequent claims that the device has been the company's best-selling iPhone since it was released on October 26, or close to four weeks into the fourth calendar quarter. The iPhone XS and XS Max were both released on September 21.

As further noted by AppleInsider, the iPhone XR was touted as a potential best-seller for Apple despite arriving in stores later than the iPhone XS and XS Max did for a number of reasons. These included the XR's more affordable price of $749, as well as the fact the device shared several features and specifications with its more expensive counterparts, including an A12 processor, an edge-to-edge display, and Face ID technology. Unlike the XS and XS Max, which shipped with OLED displays and two rear camera sensors, the XR is an LCD device with a simpler single rear camera setup.

Interestingly, SlashGear wrote that per CIRP's figures, more consumers appeared to favor higher-storage options over the base models for their iPhones compared to the year-ago fourth calendar quarter.

Despite how CIRP's data showed how the iPhone XR has a commanding lead over the iPhone XS and XS Max as Apple's most popular 2018 iPhone, AppleInsider cautioned that the firm has been known to release "questionable" figures in the past. The publication cited what happened when CIRP released data for the fourth calendar quarter of 2017, which suggested that Apple sold more units of the iPhone 8 than the iPhone X. As Apple had previously claimed that the iPhone X was outselling other models "on a weekly basis," AppleInsider suggested that CIRP might not have taken into account the fact that the X was released in November 2017, or two months after the iPhone 8 first hit stores.

Furthermore, SlashGear pointed out that CIRP's new data was based on a very limited sample size of 500 U.S. customers who purchased iPhones between October and December 2018. The tech site, however, added that the data nonetheless reflected how "complicated" the sales figures are for Apple's most recent batch of iPhones.