The R in iPhone XR doesn’t stand for anything

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Pre-orders for the iPhone XR opened up locally last week Friday and despite being rather pricey (R15 999), as most Apple devices are, this smartphone looks to be relatively good value for money if the XS and XS Max is out of reach.

While we know pretty much all there is know about Apple’s latest premium mid-range smartphone, we still have no clue as to what the R in the iPhone XR name actually stands for.

We were hoping a recent Engadget interview with Apple’s senior VP for worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, would yield an answer.

Sadly it did not, with Schiller noting that the naming conventions that the company picks are essentially made up and don’t have any real meaning.

That means the S-branded devices that Apple releases every other year do not have some cryptic or mysterious message behind them. The same goes for the recent R convention, with it just being a way to distinguish the XR from the XS series of devices.

That said the world of motoring and fast cars in particular may be the reason that Apple goes for such letters, at least according to Schiller.

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

If that’s true, Apple aren’t the only company fond of using cars as inspiration for smartphone names, with Huawei also doing it for the Porsche Design models.

The Chinese company even went one step further, adding racing stripes, and a headlight-inspired housing for its triple camera system on the new Mate 20 Pro.

If you’re really wanting the letters to stand for something, Schiller provided his take. “The S simply stands for speed, because this is the most powerful, fastest iPhone we’ve ever made,” says the senior VP.

While that explains the S, we’re still in the dark about the R.

Using our own creative license, we’re going to say it stands for regular.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.