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Phil Schiller on the iPhone XR

Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, was interviewed by Engadget about the iPhone XR, which will begin arriving on doorsteps and in stores on Friday.

Engadget’s Chris Velazco asked Schiller about the meaning behind the new iPhone’s ‘XR’ moniker. According to Schiller, XR doesn’t stand for anything in particular, but he associates XR with cars:

“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,” he said with a smile.

Velazco, who clears up some confusion about the screen, which detects and tracks touches at 120Hz but doesn’t refresh at that rate, also asked about criticisms that the LCD panel in the XR isn’t as high-resolution as some other premium mobile phones. Schiller responded:

“I think the only way to judge a display is to look at it,” he told me, adding that Apple calls these screens “retina displays” because your eye can’t discern individual pixels unless you press your face up right against the glass. “If you can’t see the pixels, at some point the numbers don’t mean anything. They’re fairly arbitrary.”

I’m looking forward to trying the XR, especially the camera. I ordered one for my youngest son, which arrives Friday. One of the conditions when my kids get an Apple product that I don’t buy for myself is that I get first crack at it for MacStories, so I plan to do some side-by-side photo tests with the XR and XS Max soon. If the early indications are correct, I expect the XR will hold up reasonably well to the dual-lens models.

For more from Schiller about the XR, be sure to check out Velazco’s full interview on Engadget.