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Apple’s budget-friendly iPhone Xr will start at $749

Apple’s budget-friendly iPhone Xr will start at $749
[Photo: courtesy of Apple]

While high-end iPhones are getting more expensive, Apple is also launching a lower-cost option with the iPhone Xr, the company said today at its big press event in Cupertino, California.

At $749, the iPhone Xr is $250 cheaper than the iPhone Xs, and $350 cheaper than the iPhone Xs Max, both of which Apple also announced on Wednesday. Its 6.1-inch display falls between the two pricier models in screen size: 5.8 inches for the iPhone Xs, and 6.5 inches for the iPhone Xs Max.

To keep the price down, Apple gave the iPhone Xr a lower-resolution LED display instead of the Xs’ sharper and more vibrant OLED panel, an aluminum body instead of a stainless steel one, and haptic feedback for the touch screen instead of pressure-sensitive 3D Touch. The Xr is also less water-resistant than its pricier siblings with an IP67 rating instead of IP68, and it has a single-lens rear camera instead of dual lenses, so it can’t do optical zoom. And while the iPhone Xs will offer a 512 GB storage option, the Xr will top out at 256 GB.

In other ways, the iPhone Xr matches the high-end Xs range: It has the same front-facing camera with FaceID, its rear camera still offers the depth control and portrait mode features, and it and uses the same A12 Bionic chip, which is faster and more power-efficient than last year’s A11. And of course, it will run the same iOS 12 software.

Low-priced phones could help put more devices in circulation to consume Apple’s growing set of services like Apple Music, iCloud, and Apple Pay. Research has shown that people who use phones with displays larger than 6 inches buy more apps, consume more media, and play more games. Apple will continue to sell the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in both regular and Plus sizes, starting at $449 for the former and $599 for the latter.

The iPhone Xr will come in white, black, blue, coral, yellow, and Product Red. Preorders begin on October 19, and the phone will ship on October 26.

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