Last night marked Apple’s biggest event of the year: The launch of the iPhone 12 lineup that includes 4 different models and a new smart speaker.
The event started with CEO Tim Cook’s announcement of the new HomePod Mini. In a gist, this is a more affordable version of the HomePod speaker, which is powered by Apple’s voice assistant Siri. As the name suggests, HomePod Mini is smaller in size.
Coming to iPhone 12, the series will have 4 models: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Max, iPhone 12 Max Pro, and iPhone 12 Mini. All four will support 5G cellular networks that theoretically enable much faster mobile downloads in comparison to 4G. However, consumers won’t be able to experience its power until carriers build out their 5G networks.
Other than that, the announcement focused on the upcoming camera features, fastest wireless connections, LiDAR sensor, and much more. Apple also proclaimed its pledge to shrink environmental footprint by not automatically including the headphones and power adapter.
Noteworthy Highlights of the Launch
Apple addressed the most vital aspects of the new launch during the keynote, but some of the things still went under the radar.
Here is a quick roundup of what the great launch was all about.
An intelligent assistant powered by Siri
Quick control for your smart home
Room-filling sound yet takes up minimal space
Designed to be secure and private
With this all-new, remodeled version of the HomePod, Apple strives to make its mark in the smart speaker segment. Although the tech giant was the first to launch a voice assistant, Siri, it lagged behind Google and Amazon in terms of voice-controlled speakers. Seems like the new HomePod Mini is here to change that.
HomePod Mini is a smaller and cheaper version of the original speaker. It is comfortably priced at $99, which is quite affordable as compared to the original HomePod valued at $299.
The speaker features the S5 processor by Apple. The company proclaims that the speaker has computational audio technology that can optimize the sound for your specific room. Apple really focused on highlighting the exceptional sound quality of the HomePod Mini, which will be quite interesting to test.
The device is said to support Apple Music and Podcasts along with other third-party services such as Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Radio.com, TuneIn, and Pandora. However, there wasn’t any mention of Apple Music’s biggest competitor, Spotify.
As expected, Siri will be a huge part of the HomePod experience. The voice assistant will recognize different voices and give you a quick day’s summary if you ask for an update.
Lastly, one interesting feature of this speaker is the intercom. This will let you create a quick home intercom to play messages in the speaker across your home.
iPhone 12 & iPhone 12 Mini
A14 Bionic- fastest chip in a smartphone
Edge-to-edge OLED display
Night mode on every camera
Two sizes, including iPhone 12 Mini
Apple welcomes its flat edges with the iPhone 12 series. After years of smooth, rounded edges, the company brings flat sides back to its iPhone designs.
Moving on, the new series has a thinner design, making it lighter and smaller. And this is despite its 5G antenna. The new phones are also powered by an A14 Bionic chip which was previously seen in the new iPad Air tossed out last month. This chip is built on the inventive 5nm technology.
Apple is also bringing back MagSafe chargers. These offer quick wireless charging for the new iPhones. However, the cost of these chargers was not disclosed during the launch. Also, to use these, the user will need to purchase a fast USB-C wall charger separately.
The iPhone 12 series also claims to be sturdier. The company touted its new glass that is tougher, owing to its ceramic shield. This means it is less breakable than the previous versions.
One of the greatest announcements that Apple made was about the 5G network, the next generation in wireless tech. Apple says that its all-new iPhone 12 lineup will support a 5G network. However, the cellular networks that would support 5G are still being built in the United States and many other nations.
For many iPhone customers, the camera is the most important feature. Consequently, Apple has always tried to regularly iming options. The Night Mode setting automatically turns on when you are shooting in someplace that is typicaprove its camera offerings. iPhone 12 comes with a Night Mode on every camera.
iPhone Mini is $699 for the 64GB variant whereas the iPhone 12 at $799.
iPhone 12 Pro & iPhone 12 Pro Max
A14 Bionic- fastest chip in a smartphone
LiDAR scanner for realistic AR
Pro Camera system for optimized low-light
Camera abilities pushed even further on Pro Max
The iPhone 12 Pro features a 6.1-inch display and iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with a 6.7-inch display. The form factor of both is quite identical to the precursors according to Apple.
The company is trying to woo professional photographers with exceptional camera sensibilities of iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. In comparison to the above, these two have increased optical zoom, larger sensors, and enhanced computational photography features.
iPhone 12 Pro also adds an additional fourth sensor on the back which measures the distance. This is similar to the LiDAR scanner previously used in the latest iPad Pro. The sensors help to evaluate the environment in greater detail. Apple claimed to be using the sensor to enhance augmented reality offerings to the users along with improving photography in low light.
iPhone 12 Pro ships with a 128GB base at the starting price of $999 whereas the iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB starts at $1,099.
No More Chargers and Headphone
Apple announced that starting from iPhone 12, there will be no more corded headphones or power adapters included with new phones. The company reasons that anyone who already owned one of the previous Apple versions has one or more of the chargers and a pair of headphones.
In a bid to reduce the environmental footprint, the device will come sans these accessories. However, if anyone needs to restock, they can purchase it at $19 each.