Everywhere I go, I see people hanging onto their old iPhones — those devices have usually seen better days, but there they are, still ticking away. Sometimes, as socially anxious as I am, I ask people about it. More often than not, their answers are the same: They don't want to spend $1,000 on a new phone. I get that, and apparently, Apple does too: That's why the iPhone XR exists.
Apple hasn't shied away from selling cheaper smartphones: There was the 5c some years ago, and the SE after that. And let's not forget that Apple always sells the prior year's models for less once the shiny new stuff comes out. The iPhone XR is a step in a different direction. Instead of just repackaging old components, Apple took a lot of what makes the XS and XS Max great and built a brand new, more affordable frame around it. It's all about accessibility. A process like this is rife with compromises and, to be clear, Apple made quite a few of them in building the XR. To Apple's credit, though, the iPhone XR never really feels compromised. Sure, it's less flashy than its premium cousins — even so, the XR delivers everywhere it counts.