Apple’s ‘budget’ iPhone XR won’t ship until October – more than a MONTH after the XS and XS Max

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Apple’s high-end iPhone XS and XS Max officially went on sale Friday, with the XS Max selling out in just 30 minutes after pre-orders opened up. 

But if you want to get your hands on Apple’s ‘budget’ iPhone XR, you’ll have to wait a little longer.  

Pre-orders for the $749 iPhone XR begin October 19th and the device won’t hit the shelves until October 26th. 

That’s more than a month after the iPhone XS and XS Max went on sale.   

It goes against Apple’s typical strategy of releasing higher end devices at a later date. 

In 2017, Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus became available far in advance of the long-awaited 10th anniversary iPhone X, which went on sale more than a month later.  

This was largely a result of the iPhone X’s advanced components, such as the OLED display, which initially faced supply constraints, as manufacturers struggled to match production levels with Apple’s scale. 

Now, it appears Apple’s suppliers are struggling to ramp up production of LCD displays.   

Apple’s iPhone XS and XS Max both feature OLED displays, while the iPhone XR is the only model to feature a Liquid Retina LCD display. 

Reports surfaced several months ago that speculated Apple might face LCD supply issues, as its supplier Japan Display had low yields in manufacturing the technology, according to the Verge. 

But it may be more complicated than that. 

‘Everything we’ve been hearing, it’s been an issue on the software side,’ Ryan Reith, IDC’s vice president of mobile device research, told the Verge. 

‘There’s a lot of software involved with the LCD screen, as it’s the first [LCD display] with a notch and full screen.

‘Apple could not get enough of these displays. It’s run into last-minute kinks with the contact manufacturer,’ he added. 

The iPhone maker has had to alter the LCD screen through software engineering to get the visuals just right, Reith said. 

However, some experts don’t believe the longer wait will deter price-sensitive consumers from buying the iPhone XR, as the difference in cost between it and the higher-end XS and XS Max is significant. 

‘Apple has heard there’s a threshold for pricing,’ Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton told the Verge. 

‘They realize there are a lot of people that won’t go that high. To the average consumer, the products will look the same from the outside…and this LCD device is a really good looking device.’  

That said, facing a month-long wait, some consumers might end up springing for the 6.5-inch XS Max, as it’s bigger than the 6.1-inch XR. 

Either way, it’s a win-win situation for Apple, as iPhone owners who are eyeing an upgrade will end up buying a new device no matter what. 

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