iPhone 12 with 5G, HomePod Mini and more: Everything Apple just announced

2020-10-13-11-06-15

Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

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

Another year, another iPhone. (Did I say that last year?) This is the iPhone’s last year of tweendom before it hits teenhood: Apple announced its four-model iPhone 12 line on Tuesday, the first major revamp of the iPhone’s design since 2017’s iPhone X, which introduced face unlocking and better screen technology. This year they sport an array of colors, more models and 5G wireless support across the lineup. In addition to the HomePod Mini smart speaker, we were treated to the MagSafe wireless charging system for the iPhone and a stealth release of the $50 Beats Flex wireless headphones.

Here’s how you order iPhone 12, Mini, Pro and Pro Max models, on different days and at different prices.

Apple’s late to the 5G party (if you can call it “late” when the party’s just started), and incorporating the new wireless tech poses potential problems for Apple, but it could still be a big win for the company and carriers. And experts are already worrying about the new design’s affect on repairability, given that Apple already ranks pretty low on that score.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg came out to talk about the iPhone on its 5G Ultra Wideband network and its expansion plans, including turning on its nationwide 5G network. The iPhone 12 has a custom antenna design and, according to Apple, a boatload of testing. All models support mmWave 5G, at least in the US.

Apple updated its wireless charging with MagSafe for iPhone, a new charging coil design with a magnet that

iPhone 12 and 12 Pro 5G: Apple unveils super-speedy new phone lineup

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Apple’s new iPhone 12 — including its premium Pro model, pictured 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 just got a lot faster. During its virtual event Tuesday, the company unveiled its iPhone 12 lineup — and all four new devices come with 5G, including the ultra-fast millimeter wave version. The company’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 some of the biggest advances Apple has made in years. 

The two middle phones go on sale next week (preorders begin this Friday), while the Mini and Max arrive in mid-November. The starting prices range from $699 for the Mini — making it one of the cheapest premium 5G phones on the market — to $1,099 for the Max. All international versions of the iPhone come with 5G, but only the US versions have mmWave (Verizon has been the technology’s main proponent). 

The entire iPhone 12 lineup features a new design, reminiscent of Apple’s iPad Pro tablets. The flatter sides give the iPhones a new feel for the first time in three years. All models come with a new, ultra-strong, Corning-designed front cover display, dubbed “ceramic shield.”  It’s “tougher than any smartphone glass,” Apple said, and is four times less likely to crack if you drop it. The new phones come with Apple’s updated A14 Bionic, the same chip that’s in the new iPad Air. They also get bumps in their camera capabilities

Read: Our first impressions of the iPhone 12,

Apple iPhone 12 Pro’s four cameras aim at serious photographers

Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini add significant new photography features, but camera hardware and computational photography software on the higher-end iPhone 12 Pro models really show how hard Apple is working to attract photo and video enthusiasts.



a close up of a camera: Apple's iPhone 12 Pro phones get new camera abilities, including a bigger image sensor, a faster main camera lens, improved image stabilization, a lidar sensor for low-light autofocus and a longer-reach telephoto lens on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET


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Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro phones get new camera abilities, including a bigger image sensor, a faster main camera lens, improved image stabilization, a lidar sensor for low-light autofocus and a longer-reach telephoto lens on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Among the changes in the iPhone 12 Pro models are new abilities to fuse multiple frames into one superior shot and a lidar sensor for improved autofocus. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also gets a larger sensor for better low-light performance on the main camera, a telephoto camera that zooms in better on distant subjects and better stabilization to counteract your shaky hands.

iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, Pro and Pro Max explained

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The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max debuted at Apple’s iPhone 12 launch event Tuesday. The iPhone 12 (from $799, £799, AU$1,349) and 12 Mini (from $699, £699, AU$1,199) stick to last year’s design, with regular, ultrawide and selfie cameras. 

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The bigger photography improvements come with the 12 Pro (from $999, £999, AU$1,699) and 12 Pro Max (from $1,099, £1,099, AU$1,849), which get a larger image sensor and a fourth telephoto camera for more distant subjects, too. The iPhone 12 Pro has the same 2X zoom telephoto reach as earlier iPhones — a 52mm equivalent focal length — but the 12 Pro Max’s extends to 2.5X zoom, or a 65mm equivalent lens.

Cameras are one of the most important features on a new smartphone along with processor

The Technology 202: Apple and Verizon say 5G is here. That’s not exactly true yet.

“5G just got real,” Verizon chief executive Hans Vestberg said onstage, as he touted his company’s plans to double its availability in some cities and roll out to 60 new markets by the end of 2020.

But in reality, 5G remains a work in progress throughout the United States. 

Access to 5G networks is limited to a handful of U.S. cities, and in some instances, it’s currently slower than 4G speeds, my colleague Geoffrey Fowler has found through tests with multiple phones. And my colleagues note that the fastest early deployments have been concentrated in areas most Americans aren’t visiting very much since the pandemic began such as stadiums. 

“It will likely be a few more years before we see what kind of revolution 5G will bring about in the tech world,” Stan Adams, the deputy general counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, said in an email. 

The future of 5G hinges on a smart government allocation of a scarce resource – airwaves. 

Washington policymakers broadly agree that 5G is important especially when it comes to the United States maintaining its tech dominance and competing with China, which has aggressively embraced the next generation of wireless networks. But there are competing proposals for how the federal government could most quickly and effectively commercialize the most valuable airwaves.

Many experts say the future of 5G depends carriers having greater access to airwaves known as mid-band spectrum, which is ideal for 5G deployment because it provides both fast speeds and greater coverage. But much of that is controlled by the Pentagon, which currently uses the spectrum for radar and aviation. And the future of those airwaves is in doubt. 

Last week, the Pentagon drafted a request for proposals for a new military cellular network that would lease extra

Apple Pay Landing Page Goes Live on Apple’s Mexico Website, Suggesting Imminent Launch

Apple added an Apple Pay landing page to its regional Mexico website late on Tuesday, indicating the mobile payment system could launch in the country imminently.


Way back in March there were suggestions that Apple Pay could be coming to Mexico, after reports that some iPhone users in the country had been able to add their Banregio cards to the Wallet app, with only the verification process failing.

Cards from banks other than Banregio were not able to be added to the Wallet app on the ‌‌iPhone‌‌, suggesting ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ in Mexico could be limited to Banregio at launch.

That’s still uncertain, since the ‌Apple Pay‌ page on Apple’s Mexican website offers no launch date and doesn’t list any banks that will integrate with the service. All it says is ‌Apple Pay‌ will be compatible with “credit and debit cards of the most important payment networks, issued by various banks,” which sounds a lot like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

When ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ launches in Mexico, it will be the second country in Latin America to support the payments service. Apple launched ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ in Brazil in 2018, but has not expanded it to other Latin America countries. ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ has also been available in the United States and Canada for years.

Apple maintains a complete list of the countries where ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ is available on its support site, and we have a detailed Apple Pay roundup with everything you need to know about Apple’s payments service.

(Thanks, Luis!)

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