Like so many iPhone models before it, the iPhone 11 has a more powerful chip at its core and better cameras than last year’s model. It’s the same iPhone you know and love, but slightly better than the previous one.
There’s one huge difference between 2018’s iPhone XS and 2019’s iPhone 11: $300.
That’s right: The new iPhone 11 costs $700, which represents a majorprice cut from the $1,000 iPhone XS. We’re talking about 300 big ones! That’s a lot of cash!
But it’s not the right comparison. The iPhone 11 is actually a replacement for last year’s “budget” iPhone, the iPhone XR, which cost $750 when it launched alongside the $1,000 iPhone XS.
In reality, the $700 iPhone 11 has a much smaller price cut than it appears: just $50.
It’s a trick of marketing: The name “iPhone 11” makes it sound as if it’s the new flagship, but it isn’t.
The iPhone 11 Pro is the new flagship, and it costs the same $1,000 as last year’s flagship iPhone XS.
Here’s the 2019 iPhone lineup, with the “budget” phone on the left, at $700, and the flagship Pro models in the center and on the right:
If you look closely at the specs of the iPhone XR and the specs of the iPhone 11, you’ll quickly realize that the iPhone 11 is the successor to last year’s budget iPhone.
For starters, they have the same type of screen (“Liquid Retina HD”), and it’s the same size (6.1 inches). The iPhone 11 camera has two sensors, compared with the iPhone 11 Pro’s three; the iPhone XR featured a single camera sensor compared with the iPhone XS’s dual-sensor setup.
And then there are the build materials: The iPhone 11 is made of glass and aluminum, just as the iPhone XR was, while the iPhone 11 Pro is made of stainless steel, just as the iPhone XS was.
Notably, there is no new version of the iPhone XR — and that’s because the iPhone 11 is exactly that, albeit without the “budget” branding the iPhone XR carried. It’s a brilliant move for Apple that repositions its budget phone as its flagship.
But make no mistake: If you buy the iPhone 11, you’re getting the “budget” iPhone of 2019.