Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks

This image provided by Apple shows a display of the new iPhones equipped with technology for use with faster new 5G wireless networks that Apple unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (Apple via AP)
This image provided by Apple shows one of the new iPhone 12 equipped with technology for use with faster new 5G wireless networks that Apple unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (Apple via AP)
This image provided by Apple shows the new iPhone 12 Pro phones that Apple unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. The higher-end iPhone 12 Pro with more powerful cameras comes in silver, graphite, gold and blue, and will cost $999. (Apple via AP)
This image provided by Apple displays features of the new HomePod Mini that Apple unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. 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 via AP)
This image provided by Apple shows the new HomePod Mini that Apple unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. 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 via AP)

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

There’s the iPhone 12, with a 6.1-inch display, the same as the iPhone 11 but lighter and thinner, starts at almost $800 and the iPhone 12 Mini with a 5.4-inch display atalmost $700. A higher-end iPhone 12 Pro with more powerful cameras will cost almost $1,000; the 12 Pro Max, with a 6.7-inch display, will set buyers back almost $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 two models of power adapter, priced roughly at $20 and $50.

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.

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. There are no popular new consumer applications that require 5G.

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 holiday season. Consumers are generally expected to have less money to spend amid high unemployment and economic anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 upgrade their phones.

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 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 Nest, as low-cost command centres 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 and 15 million use a HomePod or speakers sold by other manufactures, including Sonos and Harman Kardon.

Michael Liedtke And Tali Arbel, The Associated Press

Technology

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Workers from the Quesnel Child and Youth Support Society prepare Christmas hampers in 2019. The society was one of seven recipients of funding in the first round of the Emergency Community Support Fund. The Quesnel Community Foundation is now accepting donations for the second round of funding and is urging local groups to apply before Oct. 30. (Facebook)
Quesnel Community Foundation urges area groups to apply for COVID-19 relief funding

The deadline to apply for Round 2 of the Emergency Community Support Fund is Oct. 30

The best photo of the Fraser River Walking Bridge taken on Oct. 23 or 24 will be rewarded with a donation to the Polio Plus Fund on behalf of the Rotary Club of Quesnel. (File Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel’s footbridge set for scarlet spotlight

The Fraser River Footbridge will be bathed in red light to mark World Polio Day Oct. 23 and 24

A police officer speaks to a driver during last year’s Shift Into Winter event in Quesnel. The annual road check reminds drivers to slow down and be safe during winter. (Karen Powell Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
It’s time to Shift into Winter

The annual campaign offers winter driving tips

Jeff Malin nears the finish line Sunday, Oct. 11 in downtown Quesnel. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
No travel, no problem: Jeff Malin completes ninth marathon in Quesnel

The Quesnel firefighter has been running marathons since 2012

The owners of Motherlode Wash on Juniper Road in South Quesnel are hoping to construct a new wash building that would accommodate larger vehicles like RVs and semi-trucks. The new building would be two storeys and would match the existing buildings on the property. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
South Quesnel’s Motherlode Wash applies to add wash building for large vehicles

The new building will include three large-vehicle wash bays and one touchless wash tunnel

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Pixabay)
Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

The team has received close to 600 calls and emails since the investigation started in July

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Most Read