Apple held its October event today, closely following its September event. Today’s event was especially noteworthy, as it included the announcement of the eagerly-awaited iPhone 12 lineup.
Apple's October 2020 Special Event
What to know about the latest iPhone line-up
- United States
The major new feature Apple highlighted around the iPhone 12 is the addition of 5G network connectivity. 5G’s enhanced speed, reduced latency, and better connectivity in high-traffic areas mean that users will no longer need to be tied to WiFi networks to be able to enjoy rich media-based experiences on their phones. This will be especially important for video-based apps, on-location event-based apps, games, and so on.
The iPhone 12 has also been redesigned to further reduce the bezels around the screen, giving more real estate to the device’s visuals, and making the overall device thinner, smaller, and lighter than the iPhone 11. The new design also features a smooth, flat-edged aesthetic that resembles the iPad Pro design introduced last month.
Other hardware improvements include MagSafe charging, higher screen fidelity, significantly faster processing performance, and improved camera quality.
The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 will debut starting at $799 on Friday, October 23.
iPhone 12 mini
The iPhone 12 mini was also unveiled today. As the smaller sibling of the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 mini will include the same specs and functionality of its larger counterpart, in a smaller 5.4-inch screen-size form factor.
The iPhone 12 mini is noteworthy as it reinforces Apple’s commitment to the smaller form-factor offered previously by the iPhone SE line of devices but contains none of the performance tradeoffs that existed in the previous line of smaller phones.
It also serves as an important reminder that correctly supporting a range of screen sizes by leveraging technologies such as size classes, dynamic type, auto layout, and so on, is key for any iPhone app.
The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini will be available slightly later than the iPhone 12, on Friday, November 13, and will be priced starting at $699.
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max
Apple will also continue offering an upgraded Pro line of devices with the iPhone 12 Pro. The Pro series will be constructed from enhanced materials, such as stainless steel frames, to give them a more premium feel. They also feature an enhanced set of camera hardware and software that allow them to perform especially well under difficult conditions such as low lightning, nighttime shots, and so on.
The iPhone 12 Pro also includes a LiDAR sensor, which will be a key addition for providing more robust augmented reality experiences, including 3D scene mapping, better object detection, and enhanced depth-sensitivity. The addition of this hardware serves as strong evidence that Apple considers augmented reality to be a first-class feature and experience, and is a good indicator of where their future technology roadmap may lead.
The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro will be available Friday, October 23, starting at $999, and the larger 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available Friday, November 13, starting at $1,099.
Apple also announced the HomePod mini at the start of today’s event. This smaller companion to the HomePod will allow users to effortlessly set up multi-device HomePod configurations as a less-expensive alternative to the full-sized HomePod hardware.
We anticipate that the reduced price point of the HomePod mini will open the HomePod platform up to users who weren’t ready to dive in on the initial offering.
More than just standalone smart speakers, Apple is positioning the HomePod and HomePod mini as conduits into the rest of the Apple ecosystem. They allow users to control their smart home devices; communicate collectively with other Apple devices such as iPhones, CarPlay vehicles, Apple Watches, and so on; and use Siri to answer questions, provide information, and get things done.
The HomePod mini will debut on Monday, November 16 for $99.