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The top-selling iPhone in the third quarter wasn't any of the shiny new iPhone 11s released in September.

Apple's iPhone XR, which went on sale in October of last year, outsold any of this year's iPhone 11 models in the U.S., according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report shares were roughly flat on Thursday at $243.08.

The quarter ended at the end of September, when the iPhone 11 lineup had only been on sale for a matter of days -- so it isn't especially surprising that the new phones represented a minority of U.S. unit sales overall.

But the data suggests that iPhone average selling prices (ASP) -- a metric that Apple no longer discloses -- are coming down, according to Mike Levin, partner and co-founder at CIRP. 

"While the oldest and lowest-price phones have roughly the same share as before, iPhone XR and 11 have dominated sales, at the expense of the more costly XS and XS Max, and 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max models," he said in a statement. "And, iPhone 11 is priced $50 below the similarly positioned iPhone XR at launch last year. This represents a change for Apple, which usually increases prices on new phones relative to older ones."

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Apple surprised many observers by cutting the price of the base model iPhone compared to prior years. The iPhone 11 retails at $700 and up, while the iPhone XR cost $750 and up when it first came out. 

Of the iPhone 11 lineup, the base model iPhone 11 accounted for the most units sold in the third quarter at 9% of total iPhone sales, followed by the iPhone 11 Pro (6%) and the iPhone 11 Pro Max (4%). The big winner of the quarter at 36% of sales was the iPhone XR, last year's entry level model. 

The U.S. weighted average selling price, used as a proxy for ASP, was $783 for the third quarter, down from $808 in the June quarter. The iPhone's peak ASP was in the December 2018 quarter, when it was $839. The U.S. is Apple's largest sales market.

Apple shares are up 54% year to date. 

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