Apple SVP Reveals ‘XR’ Doesn’t Stand for Anything and More in New Interview

Iphone Xr 2 Credit: The Economic Times
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Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller sat down with Engadget to speak about the upcoming iPhone XR ahead of its launch.

The wide-ranging interview touched on a variety of topics, but there are two that are of particular note. Schiller gave a few details about the iPhone XR’s moniker and spoke about the controversy surrounding the device’s comparatively lower-resolution display.

Schiller confirmed to Engadget that Apple doesn’t really attach any meaning to the letters in its iPhone monikers. The iPhone XR is no different, and the Apple SVP confirmed that it doesn’t stand for anything officially.

On the other hand, Schiller told the media outlet that the iPhone XR’s name has a special meaning specifically to him — and it touches on his love of sports cars.

“I love cars and things that go fast, and R and S are both letters used to denote sports cars that are really extra special,” Schiller said.

But the iPhone XR’s name didn’t really generate much controversy. At least, not compared to the device’s most contentious design feature: its aging 720p display.

Essentially, the iPhone XR’s Liquid Retina display has a resolution of 1792×828 and a pixel density of 326 PPI — that’s the same PPI as last year’s iPhone 8 (and most other non-Plus devices before it).

To be clear, that is an objectively lower-resolution display than those seen on many other competing smartphones, even in the lower and middle tiers of the market.

But Schiller dismissed concerns over the device’s display. According to Engadget, the Apple SVP believes it’s a case of the iPhone XR display looking worse on paper than it actually is.

“I think the only way to judge a display is to look at it,” Schiller said, adding that the “Retina” moniker denotes displays with individual pixels that human eyes can’t discern — unless one presses their face right up against the screen glass.

“If you can’t see the pixels, at some point the numbers don’t mean anything. They’re fairly arbitrary,” Schiller added.

Engadget also inquired about the iPhone XR’s Retina Display — and asked whether the difficulties of implementing an LCD screen into an edge-to-edge form factor was to blame for the delayed release.

Schiller didn’t address that question head-on, only saying that the iPhone XR is launching now because “this is when it’s ready.”

But even though the iPhone XR is a bit late to the 2018 lineup, it might just steal the show. Many analysts and market watchers predict the device to be the best-selling of the three iPhones released this year.

On that note, Schiller said that the iPhone XR isn’t specifically aimed at any target demographic. Instead, it’s purpose is to bring the “modern iPhone” experience to a wider market.

“We think the iPhone X technology and experience is something really wonderful, and we want to get it to as many people as possible, and we want to do it in a way that still makes it the best phone,” Schiller said.

The iPhone XR will begin hitting retail stores and shipping to customers this Friday, Oct. 27.

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