Phil Schiller talks about iPhone XR and what it means for Apple

In an interview with Engadget, Chris Velazco sat down with Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Apple. The topic of the interview revolved around iPhone XR and a deep-dive into the finer details of why the phone was made, who was it made for and why it is Apple’s most ambitious phone of the year. Chris and Phil go into a detailed discussion about the latest ‘budget’ phone but there are a lot of interesting points in the interview which stand out.

iPhone XR

Here are some key discussion points from the interview.

  • The rationale behind naming the iPhone XS and XR came to Phil because of how sports cars use these letters in their branding. The ‘R’ in XR does not stand for anything by itself.
  • Phil says that a phone like the XR had been in development for many years and was an immense task for the engineering team to accomplish.
  • The main focus for the XR was to make it accessible to the masses.
  • Phil wanted more people to be a part of the iPhone family. Just because they can’t afford the flagship doesn’t mean they should feel left out.
  • Phil said that the XS felt small in the hand, while the XS Max is ‘overkill for people with smaller hands’. The XR is where they hit the sweet spot for general feel in the hand.
  • Phil talks about the backlash about the display with the Internet getting upset over the display and low PPI count. He says that “whats on paper is not doing justice to the reality”. Phil adds that the only way to see the pixels on the Retina Display is to push the phone to your face, “because your eye can’t discern individual pixels unless you press your face up right against the glass”.
  • He further adds “If you can’t see the pixels, at some point the numbers don’t mean anything. They’re fairly arbitrary.”
  • Chris asked Phil if the screen was the reason for its delay, Schiller replies “This is when it’s ready.”, meaning the release date was always intentional.
  • Phil briefly addresses Android and their massive line-up of OEMs, he ‘doesn’t think too much of the competition’ and how Apple doesn’t stress about building products that target a specific demographic.
  • After the success of iPhone X technology and the experience it delivered, Phil aimed to try and get the phone into as many hands as possible, finding the right balance between price and technology to create the ‘perfect phone’. They struck the right chord with the XR.

The full interview is a very good read to understand the Phil Schiller’s thought process. The drive behind the iPhone XR is a fascinating read and time will tell if it results in a major success for Apple.