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Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks

2020's iPhone 12 is finally here!  

Apple unveiled four new iPhones equipped with technology for use with faster new 5G wireless networks.

Updates from Apple's 'Hi Speed' October Special Event

There’s the iPhone 12, with a 6.1-inch display, the same as the iPhone 11 but lighter and thinner, starts at almost US$800 and the iPhone 12 Mini with a 5.4-inch display at almost US$700. A higher-end iPhone 12 Pro with more powerful cameras will begin at roughly US$1,000; the 12 Pro Max, with a 6.7-inch display, will set buyers back at least US$1,100. Apple said the phones should be more durable.

Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks

In a move that may annoy some consumers, Apple will no longer include charging adapters with new phones. It says that will mean smaller, lighter boxes that are more environmentally friendly to ship. Apple, however, separately sells power adapters that cost about US$20 and US$50, depending on how fast they charge phones.

Apple has one of the most loyal and affluent customer bases in the world, which has many analysts betting the next wave of phones will sell well. The iPhone remains the foundation of Apple’s business. Apple boasted about the 5G capabilities and brought in Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg to champion the carrier’s network. 5G is supposed to mean much faster speeds, making it quicker to download movies or games, for instance.

Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks

But finding those speeds can be a challenge. While telecom operators have been rolling out 5G networks, significant boosts in speed are still uncommon in much of the world, including the U.S. So far, there are no popular new consumer applications that require 5G.

The iPhone models unveiled on October 13 will launch at different times. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro will be available starting October 23; the Mini and the Pro Max will follow on November 13. That compresses Apple’s window for building up excitement heading into the holiday season.

Updates in the new phones mostly amount to incremental improvements over predecessor iPhones, technology analyst Patrick Moorhead said, referring to 5G capabilities and the camera upgrades on the Pro. But he suggested that if carriers build out their 5G networks fast enough, it could launch a supercycle in which large numbers of people buy new 5G-capable phones.

Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks

The economic pain caused by the global pandemic and accompanying job losses may restrain that buying impulse, said mobile expert Carolina Milanesi of the firm Creative Strategies.

Although other parts of Apple’s business are now growing more rapidly, the iPhone remains the biggest business of a technology juggernaut currently worth about US$2 trillion, nearly double its value when stay-at-home orders imposed in the U.S in mid-March plunged the economy into a deep recession.

The pandemic temporarily paralysed Apple’s overseas factories and key suppliers, leading to a delay of the latest iPhones from their usual late September rollout. The company also closed many of its U.S. stores for months because of the pandemic, depriving Apple of a prime showcase for its products.

Enter, HomePod Mini

Apple on October 13 also said it was shrinking the size and price of its HomePod speaker to catch up to Amazon and Google in the market for internet-connected speakers, where it has barely made a dent. Both Amazon and Google are trying to position their speakers, the Echo and the Nest, as low-cost command centers for helping people manage their homes and lives. They cost as little as $50, while the HomePod costs almost $300.

Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks

The new HomePod Mini will cost almost US$100. It will integrate Apple’s own music service, of course, with Pandora and Amazon’s music service in coming months. Apple didn’t mention music-streaming giant Spotify.

The research firm eMarketer estimates about 58 million people in the U.S. use an Amazon Echo while 26.5 million use a Google Nest speaker. Roughtly 15 million use a HomePod or speakers sold by other manufactures, including Sonos and Harman Kardon.

India-specific dates and pricing

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB models in blue, green, black, white, and PRODUCT(RED), starting at ₹79,900 and ₹69,900, respectively. iPhone 12 will be available in India, South Korea, and more than a dozen other countries and regions beginning Friday, October 30.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB models in graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue starting at ₹1,19,900 and ₹129,900, respectively. iPhone 12 Pro will be available in India, South Korea, and more than a dozen other countries beginning Friday, October 30.

MagSafe Charger, Leather Wallet with MagSafe, and iPhone 12 Silicone Case and Clear Case will be available beginning Friday, October 16. iPhone 12 Leather Case will be available beginning Friday, November 6. MagSafe Duo Charger and Leather Sleeve will be available at a later date.

HomePod mini will be available in white and space grey for ₹9,900. Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US are able to order HomePod mini beginning at 17.30 IST on Friday, November 6, with availability beginning the week of November 16.

Indian buyers can purchase authentic Apple products from from apple.com and Apple Authorised Resellers.

This copy has been edited and updated with Indian pricing and dates by Divya Kala Bhavani.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 2:02:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/gadgets/apple-unveils-new-iphones-for-faster-5g-wireless-networks/article32848940.ece

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