Apple’s flagship iPhones meet consumer demands but may be too pricey (AAPL)

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Apple introduced two new flagship smartphones at its September event on Wednesday: the $999 iPhone XS and the larger $1,099 iPhone XS Max. It also launched a third, lower-cost alternative device called the iPhone XR, which starts shipping at $749. 

The iPhone XS and XS Max, which follow up from last year’s overhauled iPhone X, are touted as the most advanced Apple devices created, according to CEO Tim Cook. 

Apple's New iPhone XR Proves Most Popular Among Global Consumers

Following the event, Business Insider Intelligence conducted an exclusive survey of Business Insider readers to discover which features would convince them to buy a new iPhone.

Business Insider readers tend to skew younger, male, and tech-savvy. Still, we think it provides a strong indicator of how social media users feel about these issues. The results proved promising for Apple, as consumers highlighted three key smartphone features, all of which are offered by Apple’s new flagship devices:

  • Better battery life would spur consumers to buy a new iPhone. Nearly half (45%) of consumers want to see better battery life in their new handsets, which Apple’s new flagship devices both deliver. Apple’s iPhone XS extends battery life 30 minutes more than its predecessor, while the iPhone XS Max provides 90 additional minutes of battery life. 
  • Devices with even larger screens are highly sought out by consumers. More than a quarter (26%) of consumers said they’d upgrade their devices for an iPhone with a bigger screen, which Apple’s iPhone XS Max provides. The larger flagship model boasts a 6.5-inch screen, which is 12% larger than the iPhone X’s 5.8-inch screen.
  • Improved water resistance would motivate many consumers to upgrade. A considerable share (21%) of consumers are looking for iPhones that are less prone to water damage. Apple’s two new flagship models have an IP68 rating, meaning the phones can handle being submerged in deeper waters (2 meters) than the iPhone X (1 meter) for the same period of time.

Although Apple’s two flagship iPhones meet consumers’ expectations, the data suggests that they still value affordability over feature functionality. The lower-cost iPhone XR appears to be the most popular device of the three, with 29% of consumers saying they plan to buy one, which is more than the iPhone XS (17%) and XS Max (22%).

This is likely because the technological gap between the iPhone XR and its pricier cousins isn’t considerable: The main differences between the XR and Apple’s flagship devices are screen quality and camera functionality. The iPhone XR has an LCD screen compared with the flagships’ OLED screens, and it boasts just a single 12-megapixel camera compared with the flagships’ dual megapixel cameras.

We expect that the iPhone XR will see massive success in the US, as well as the global market, because of the device’s price advantage over the flagship models.

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