Apple introduced its long-awaited, 5G-enabled iPhone 12 models in an online presentation today, announcing four models that will be available in time for the holiday season.
Pricing is pretty much in line with recent years. The iPhone 12 mini retails for $699, $100 less than the iPhone 12. The iPhone 12 Pro is $999 and the Pro Max is $1,099. Apple is also keeping the iPhone 11 in its lineup, at $599, along with the entry level iPhone at $399.
One notable change is that headphones and power adapters will no longer be included with the main purchase of the phone. Part of the reason for that is environmental concerns. The company said it is aiming to be carbon neutral in 2020, with a climate impact of net zero by 2030. Another incentive, of course, is to drive interest in the company’s wireless AirPods, which start at $149.
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With a 5.4-inch screen, the mini (in lower case for extra emphasis) is described by Apple as “the smallest, thinnest, and lightest 5G smartphone in the world, re-architected to pack all the technology of iPhone 12 into a delightfully compact size.”
The regular iPhone 12 has a 6.1-inch screen size.
“Each generation of cellular network technology on iPhone has enabled breakthrough innovations and entirely new opportunities for our developers and our users,” CEO Tim Cook said during the presentation. “And 5G is the most exciting step yet. For so many people, this becomes real with 5G coming to iPhone.”
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg made an appearance in the program, in person at the tech giant’s Cupertino, CA headquarters. The company is one of the iPhone 12’s 100 carriage partners around the world. “With iPhone, the wait is over,” Vestberg declared. In sync with the day’s announcement, Vestberg said Verizon has activated its nationwide 5G network, with access in 1,800 cities and towns for an estimated 200 million U.S. residents.
The 5G capability will improve a range of functions on the iPhone 12, the company says. Among the benefits are faster download and upload speeds, higher-quality video streaming, more responsive gaming, real-time interactivity in apps and FaceTime in high definition.
Normally, new iPhones are introduced at a major product event in September at Apple Park. Due to COVID-19, which has upended corporate life as well as retail, in-person events and a host of other aspects of Apple’s business, the company has split product announcements into smaller chunks. It announced new Watch and iPad models last month. A future event is expected to focus on Mac desktops and laptops.
Customers in Australia, China, Germany, Japan, the UK, the U.S., and more than 30 other countries and regions will be able to pre-order iPhone 12 on October 16, with availability beginning October 23. The iPhone 12 mini will be available for pre-order on November 6, with availability beginning November 13.
Pre-orders for iPhone 12 Pro begin Friday, October 16, with availability beginning Friday, October 23. iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available for pre-order on November 6, and in stores beginning November 13.