In brief: Ask the average tech consumer which iPhone they think was the best seller over the past few months and odds are, they’ll say the iPhone 11. That’d be a solid selection considering how heavily Apple and carrier partners marketed the latest generation handset in recent months but surprisingly, it wasn’t the best-selling iPhone during the quarter.

According to Counterpoint Research’s Market Pulse, the iPhone XR was the best-selling model globally in the third quarter based on market share as it managed to capture a three percent stake. That’s impressive considering the XR launched way back in October 2018 and it wasn’t even the flagship model at the time.

So, what’s happening here?

Well, part of it is just that – the fact that the iPhone XR isn’t a flagship but rather, a budget model. Apple elected to keep the XR around for another year when introducing the latest iPhone 11 models, lowered its price (it now starts at $599) and started selling it in more regions including India.

The data illustrates the fact that not everyone is interested in $1,000+ flagship phones. Furthermore, it’s probably even more evidence that a new iPhone SE 2 could do really well at the lower end of the pricing scale. Last we heard, this budget iPhone could arrive as early as the first quarter of 2020.

Masthead credit: iPhone XR phones by Hadrian