Apple’s new iPhone 12 — together with its premium Pro mannequin, pictured right here — pack in 5G connectivity.

Apple; screenshot by CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Apple’s iPhones simply bought lots sooner. During its virtual event Tuesday, the corporate unveiled its iPhone 12 lineup — and all 4 new units come with 5G, together with the ultra-fast millimeter wave model. The firm’s 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini, 6.1-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Max pack in among the largest advances Apple has made in years. 

The two center telephones go on sale subsequent week (preorders begin this Friday), whereas the Mini and Max arrive in mid-November. The beginning costs vary from $699 for the Mini — making it one of the cheapest premium 5G phones on the market — to $1,099 for the Max. All worldwide variations of the iPhone include 5G, however solely the US variations have mmWave (Verizon has been the expertise’s major proponent). 

The total iPhone 12 lineup options a new design, reminiscent of Apple’s iPad Pro tablets. The flatter sides give the iPhones a new really feel for the primary time in three years. All fashions include a new, ultra-strong, Corning-designed front cover display, dubbed “ceramic shield.”  It’s “tougher than any smartphone glass,” Apple stated, and is 4 instances much less prone to crack when you drop it. The new phones include Apple’s up to date A14 Bionic, the identical chip that is within the new iPad Air. They additionally get bumps in their camera capabilities

Read: Our first impressions of the iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max

Apple has nixed the free EarPods and power adapter that previously came with iPhones. But the new units do support Apple’s revamped MagSafe charger, which makes use of magnetic pins to attach the charging cable with the again of the gadget. It’s not only for charging however serves as a magnetic attachment system for various equipment, all of which may snap proper onto the again of the iPhone 12. Included within the field with every new iPhone is a Lightning to USB-C connector. 

The addition of 5G connectivity is a primary for Apple’s gadget lineup. (No, your older AT&T phones that say “5G E” can’t connect to the new 5G networks.) The most noticeable enchancment with 5G over what the iPhone provides right now is quicker obtain speeds, therefore Apple’s “Hi, Speed” occasion invite. 5G can run between 10 and 100 times faster than your typical 4G mobile connection, making downloads and video streaming snappier than ever. It’s additionally extra responsive than 4G, making gaming, video streaming and different duties a lot smoother. 

Overall, 5G is anticipated to alter the best way we reside, very similar to 4G led to apps like Uber. But it is nonetheless early days with the expertise, and most shoppers aren’t utilizing 5G. As of Tuesday, all three main US carriers now have nationwide 5G networks, although they’re constructed on the slower model of 5G. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg appeared on stage at Apple’s digital occasion to announce that the country’s largest wireless carrier now has a low-band 5G network, which provides dramatically extra protection — at decrease speeds — than the earlier taste of its superfast, mmWave 5G. 

The iPhone seamlessly switches between 4G and 5G to preserve battery energy. When 5G is required — like for high-def video streaming — it will routinely faucet into that community. Otherwise, the gadget will activate 4G connectivity. 5G processors, that are nonetheless new, are energy hungry, and they’ve additionally prompted early units to overheat. By switching between 4G and 5G, Apple goals to stop these issues. 

Apple confirmed off its new merchandise Tuesday throughout a digital occasion, very similar to its iPad and Apple Watch Series 6 launch in October. It unveiled a new $99 HomePod Mini smart speaker earlier than speaking about its 5G iPhones.

The full iPhone 12 lineup

The premium iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max units characteristic stainless-steel bands and are available in 4 finishes: silver, graphic, gold and Pacific blue. The 12 Pro packs in a 6.1-inch show, whereas the Pro Max encompasses a 6.7-inch display screen. 

Both units have three rear-facing cameras and have LiDAR for depth mapping, AR and low-light autofocus. The 12 Pro will get a new telephoto lens with an optical zoom of two.5X, whereas the Pro Max will get a 5X optical zoom, an enormous soar from the 2X optical zoom of older generations. Both get other camera tweaks and include 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage choices.

The iPhone 12 options an aluminum body with new antennas throughout the gadget to connect with the 5G networks. It’ll are available in black, white, inexperienced, blue and Product (Red), and it encompasses a 6.1-inch, Super Retina XDR OLED show with smaller bezels than its predecessors. And the iPhone 12 is 11% thinner, 15% smaller and 16% lighter than the older iPhone 11. There are 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage choices. The iPhone 12 additionally has twin, 12MP digital camera lenses with an f2.Four extremely large and f1.6 large. It can also seize photographs utilizing Night Mode, in addition to night time time lapse.

The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini is sort of similar to the iPhone 12 except for its display screen dimension and weight. 

The iPhone 12 Pro will begin at $999, whereas the 12 Pro Max will retail for $1,099. Apple stored the costs of its premium phone the identical as final 12 months’s fashions, regardless of packing in 5G connectivity and different enhancements. The new iPhone 12 will retail for $799, which is $100 greater than final 12 months’s mannequin. Apple also unveiled an iPhone 12 Mini, which has a 5.4-inch show and will price $699. 

Preorders for the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro — Apple’s two 6.1-inch telephones — start Friday, with availability Oct. 23. The 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max arrive just a few weeks later, with preorders starting Nov. 6 and the units hitting shops Nov. 13. 

Last 12 months’s new iPhone lineup included the $699, 6.1-inch iPhone 11; the $999, 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro; and the $1,099, 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max. Apple additionally introduced its $399, 4.7-inch iPhone SE in April, interesting to individuals in search of a funds iPhone with a small display screen. That gadget runs solely on 4G networks. 

iPhone delay

The firm’s new iPhones are arriving about a month later than normal, a delay attributed to the pandemic. The novel coronavirus, which causes a pneumonia-like illness known as COVID-19, shortly unfold throughout the globe this 12 months, inflicting cities and total nations to situation lockdowns to gradual its advance. China, the place COVID-19 was first detected, in late 2019, shut down first, jamming up production of iPhones and different merchandise. The remainder of the world quickly adopted swimsuit, and the worldwide financial system all however floor to a halt. Since then, the coronavirus has infected over 37 million people and killed greater than 1,000,000. While many areas have begun reopening, life is not again to regular.

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As a result, consumers have been postponing phone purchases in favor of other work-from-home equipment. But Apple is likely to see huge demand for its newest iPhones. The company hasn’t changed the overall design of its phones since 2017’s iPhone X, its first device that ditched the physical home button in favor of a bigger screen and Face ID. By expanding into 5G, Apple is likely to see a surge in sales for its latest smartphones. 

The iPhone “has never been more indispensable than it is now,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday. “Today is the beginning of a new era for iPhone.”

5G boom

5G started rolling out across the globe last year and picked up speed in 2020. Virtually all new Android phones arriving in the US today offer 5G, and the country’s biggest carriers have been talking nonstop about the connectivity. Now that Apple is jumping into the fray with its 5G-enabled iPhone 12 models, the buzz about 5G is only going to get louder — even if consumers in places like the US aren’t exactly clamoring for 5G devices. 

Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup starts at $699 for the Mini up to a starting price of $1,099 for the 12 Pro Max. At the same time, it dropped the pricing for its older iPhones. 


Apple is expected to immediately be a huge player in 5G. This year, the company will likely ship 50 million 5G iPhones, according to Strategy Analytics, making it the second biggest 5G vendor in 2020. That’s with less than three months of sales. By comparison, Samsung shipped about 6.7 million Galaxy 5G smartphones from May 2019 — when its first 5G phones hit the market — to the end of that year. Next year, Apple will be the world’s biggest 5G phone vendor, Strategy Analytics said. 

“There’s a so-called Apple effect,” Strategy Analytics analyst Ville-Petteri Ukonaho said. “Whatever Apple does, it almost immediately becomes a success.”

Though many people believe their current iPhones can connect to 5G — about half of Americans think so, according to a survey by wireless benchmarking tracker Global Wireless Solutions — that isn’t the case. To get on the superspeedy new networks, Apple fans will need to upgrade to a device in the iPhone 12 lineup. 

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