Apple has finally revealed its much-hyped new range of iPhones in an online event overnight.
The new iPhone 12 will come in four models — the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max a Mini version.
The normal and Pro models will be on sale in Australia from October 23, while the Mini and Pro Max versions won’t be available until November 13.
When it comes to power and pricing, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB with models starting at $1349 and $1199 respectively.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB with models starting at $1699 and $1849.
The biggest announcement is that the phones are all 5G which Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said was “a new era for iPhone” as 5G offers super fast speeds, better video streaming, gaming and connectivity.
The move to 5G closes a gap that opened up between Apple and the rest of the phone world this past year, when most Android phone makers moved to 5G.
At the launch overnight, Cook said: “Every decade there’s a new generation of technology that provides a step-change in what we can do with our iPhones.
“The next generation is here. Today is the beginning for a new era for iPhone. Today we’re bringing 5G to iPhone. This s a huge moment for all of us and we’re really excited.”
Here’s an abbreviated version of the launch event. You can watch the full hour-plus launch at the end of this article.
Touted as the “the smallest, thinnest and lightest 5G phone in the world”, the iPhone 12 Mini is a new addition and goes against the grain of phone makers making ever bigger devices and screens. It offers a 5.4-inch screen and is aimed a people wanting a smaller device.
At the other and more expensive end, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a massive 6.7-inch screen, making it the largest iPhone ever.
Interestingly, all the new models return with rounded edges, something the brand phased out back in 2014. Additionally, all models come in a range of colours with the iPhone 12 in White, Black, Red, Blue and Green, while the Pro models come in Silver, Gold, Graphite and “Pacific Blue”.
The new range offers a new way to charge your iPhone, called MagSafe. The charger itself is similar to the Apple Watch, allowing for improved wireless charging. It’s a circular magnet in the back of the phone.
However, the new phones don’t come with headphones or a charger adaptor in the box. Apple claims that will help “reduce carbon emissions and avoids the mining and use of precious materials”.
Not that everyone’s sold on the idea, already there’s been social media backlash suggesting it has more to do with reducing Apple’s costs than saving the planet.
“Just like we did with Apple Watch, we looked for ways to cut waste and use less material,” a spokesperson said at launch.
“Customers already have over 700 million Lightning headphones … there are also over two billion Apple power adaptors out in the world and that’s not counting the billions of third-party adaptors so we’re removing these items from the iPhone box.”
As most phones are as much a camera as they are a phone these days, the new 12s include a faster aperture, which means improved lowlight performance and features like Night Mode, allowing it to capture more light in an image. Night Mode also comes with a time lapse option.
The phone will use something called computational photography that reportedly brings out more details in images, such as faces that appear darker when a light source like the sun is in the background.
Apple is touting the top of the range 12 Pro’s photography ability as being able to offer professional capabilities.
Both iPhone 12 Pro models will also see a third camera lens on the back of their smartphones: a LIDAR sensor that will help find focus in photos quickly, improve focus in lowlight situations, and deliver new augmented reality features.
And good news too if you’re forever dropping your phone. The new 12s come with a “ceramic shield” that offers “four times better drop performance” making it, in Apple’s words, “the biggest jump in reliability we’ve ever had on iPhone.”
The phones will be based on a new Apple processor, known as the A14 Bionic, which is up to 50 per cent faster than any processor in any other phone on the market, both in terms of processing (CPU) and graphics (GPU) performance, Apple officials said during the launch event.
All models will now have OLED displays, whereas previously only the Pro models had the better screen technology.
Also unveiled overnight was a new miniature HomePod speaker.
Much smaller than its predecessor and orb-shaped, the HomePod Mini is designed to be more about smarts than music playback.
Costing $149 and due for launch on November 16, the device will respond to Siri queries and let users make announcements across all Apple devices in a new feature called Intercom, and offer voice recognition to respond to individual requests.
The HomePod Mini will also recognise others of its kind in one room and automatically create a stereo effect, and can play music simultaneously with others attached to its network.
Media reports that shares of Apple fell 2.5 per cent following the announcement of the new phones after jumping six per cent the day before, which added $US128 billion ($179 billion) to its stock market value.
Watch the full announcement here:
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