Apple unveiled the iPhone 12 in four different versions in the hopes that it could convince people to upgrade their expensive hardware again.
It’s an unusually broad year for iPhones: four models come in three different sizes, representing both the smallest model in recent years and the largest display ever found in an iPhone. The new iPhones are available in different colors and designs and come with magnetic accessories to make them even more personal.
The prices are similarly different: Apple’s still current iPhone SE is offered for almost a third of the top-end iPhone 12 Pro Max. And so are the release dates: As a rule, some of the iPhones that were presented at the opening event on Tuesday evening will not be offered for sale until mid-November.
The phone comes at a difficult time for Apple. That the coronavirus outbreak, which caused the company to delay the release by six weeks, could also mean people are less willing to buy the handset ̵
It also comes as the most hyped and discussed technology in cell phones still remains inaccessible to many users. 5G is built into the phone, and Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook repeatedly stressed how exciting and revolutionary it will be – but he had to do so in part because questions have been raised about how useful it could be until the infrastructure is complete rolled out and with many people who work from home and over WiFi connections.
With that in mind, Apple offered a number of upgrades that it hopes would convince people to invest in the new line of products, as well as a number of options that they can offer if they choose to.
Apple’s live streaming keynote event, hosted from the Apple Park campus in California, but practically due to lockdown restrictions, actually started with the launch of something entirely different. First, a smart speaker was unveiled, which found that people had been spending more time at home recently than ever before.
To allay fears that the radical potential of 5G will be hampered by the difficulty of actually accessing networks, Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg appeared as part of the keynote to emphasize that infrastructure is being expanded across the country, with particular focus to large venues like stadiums where people can finally come back to them.
When the attention finally turned to the phones, the first to be announced was the standard iPhone 12.
Apple spoke at length about the handset’s new design, which rounds the edges in a style first introduced with the iPad Pro, although it is reminiscent of the iPhone 5. Other external design changes include dragging the display closer to the edges of the phone, allowing it to shrink despite having a larger display, as well as introducing a blue color.
The new “Ceramic Shield front cover” is invisible until you drop. According to Apple, it makes the phone far more resistant and holds it four times better if it falls on the floor. The updates came as part of the work with Corning, which manufactures robust glass for telephones for Apple and, according to Apple, represents the “biggest leap in durability of the iPhone ever.”
Inside, the phone has a vastly improved display, an A14 Bionic chip that is faster than many Apple computers in some ways, and vastly improved cameras.
It was then moved to the iPhone 12 Mini. Just like the HomePod Mini, it sounds like this: A smaller version of the iPhone 12, although it has exactly the same functions as its bigger sibling.
Prices were largely as expected: the smaller iPhone 12 is $ 699 and the larger is $ 799 or the same in pounds.
It was then moved to the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. They took over all of the features of the iPhone 12 – the durable, new design, the processor, and everything else – and added more features that were emphasized to appeal to people who use their phone in a professional context.
This includes new cameras that the company claims are powerful enough that they can be used in filmmaking, for example. And these cameras are supplemented by a LiDAR sensor that can measure in 3D and thus capture the space and with which, for example, medical facilities can be mapped and equipped.
The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max are also available in a higher quality stainless steel finish and are also given a new blue color. They stay at the same price as the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max they replace: starting at $ 999 for the smaller and $ 1,099 for the larger, or the same in pounds.
The release dates will be staggered, presumably due to the same coronavirus-related issues that forced the company to postpone the launch event by a month. The normal versions of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro will open for pre-orders on October 16 and go on sale on October 23. However, the very small and very large phone won’t open for pre-orders until November 6th and will continue on sale on November 13th.
All of these announcements also mentioned the new MagSafe technology, which allows accessories such as chargers, wallets and bags to be attached to the back of the phone with magnets. All of this is powered by a ring of such magnets on the back of the phone and therefore requires the latest handsets to work.
It also talked about the accessories it wouldn’t include. Apple will no longer put a charging stone or headphones in the box and replace the other end of the Lightning cable with USB-C, as was rumored before the event.