AP

Apple unveils new iPhone 12 for faster 5G wireless networks

Oct 14, 2020, 6:21 AM
This image provided by Apple shows models of new iPhones, along with the iPhone 11 at center, showi...
This image provided by Apple shows models of new iPhones, along with the iPhone 11 at center, showing prices, which Apple unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. The iPhone models unveiled will launch at different times. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro will be available starting Oct. 23; the Mini and the Pro Max will follow on Nov. 13. (Apple via AP)
(Apple via AP)

Apple unveiled four new iPhones equipped with technology for use with faster new 5G wireless networks, hoping that demand for higher data speeds will spark demand for new phones.

That might not happen as quickly as Apple would like.

In a virtual presentation Tuesday, the company announced four 5G-enabled versions of the new iPhone 12 ranging in price from almost $700 to roughly $1,100. Apple also announced a new, less expensive version of its HomePod smart speaker.

Smartphone sales have been slowing for years as their technology has matured. That has meant far fewer gotta-have-it innovations that can drive demand and, at least until recently, increasingly pricey phones. Add to that pandemic-related economic crisis, and consumers have tended to eke as much life as possible out of their existing phones.

Apple, however, is clearly betting that 5G speeds could push many users off the fence. At its event, the company boasted about 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. 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.

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

That might be a big if. Mobile expert Carolina Milanesi of the firm Creative Strategies said economic pain caused by the global pandemic and accompanying job losses could easily restrain that buying impulse.

Apple’s new models include the iPhone 12, which features a 6.1-inch display and starts at almost $800, and the iPhone 12 Mini, with a 5.4-inch display at almost $700. A higher-end iPhone 12 Pro with more powerful cameras will begin at roughly $1,000; the 12 Pro Max, with a 6.7-inch display, will set buyers back at least $1,100. Apple said the phones should be more durable.

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 $20 and $50, depending on how fast they charge phones.

The iPhone models unveiled Tuesday will launch at different times. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro will be available starting Oct. 23; the Mini and the Pro Max will follow on Nov. 13.

That compresses Apple’s window for building up excitement heading into the key holiday season.

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 $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 paralyzed 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.

Apple on Tuesday 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.

The new HomePod Mini will cost almost $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. It will be available for sale Nov. 6 and start shipping the week of Nov. 16.

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.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

a small boy recieves a COVID-19 vaccine in China...
JOE McDONALD Associated Press

China eases anti-COVID measures following protests

Experts warn, however, that restrictions can’t be lifted completely until at least mid-2023 because millions of elderly people still must be vaccinated.
16 hours ago
A memorial is pictured near the scene of the Colorado shooting at Club Q...
COLLEEN SLEVIN Associated Press

Colorado gay club shooting suspect charged with hate crimes

Investigators say Anderson Lee Aldrich entered Club Q, a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community in this mostly conservative city, just before midnight on Nov. 19.
2 days ago
DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 25: A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2...
ALI ABDUL-HASSAN and ABBY SEWELL Associated Press

US-Iran match reflects a regional rivalry for many Arab fans

The U.S. team’s must-win World Cup match against Iran will be closely watched across the Middle East, where the two nations have been engaged in a cold war for over four decades and where many blame one or both for the region’s woes.
9 days ago
Irene Cara in 'Fame' (Photo courtesy of Mgm/Kobal, Shutterstock)...
MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983's “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.
11 days ago
The U.S. Coast Guard ship Bernard C. Webber, leaves the coast guard base, Monday, July 19, 2021, in...
Associated Press

‘Miracle’: Missing cruise ship passenger found OK in water

The U.S. Coast Guard says a passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued on Thanksgiving after likely being in the water for hours.
12 days ago
FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Apple unveils new iPhone 12 for faster 5G wireless networks