Guess the most surprising thing about the officially delayed iPhone 12 line-up is their moderately affordable prices. However, presently we know why majority of people will be glad with where Apple is making the cuts to accomplish it.
The iPhone 12 will reportedly drop the existing design for an all-new look, as well as add 5G connectivity across the range, Apple’s highly-anticipated A14 Bionic processor and, for the Pro set specifically, LiDAR cameras. The 120Hz displays for the Pro models are in limbo based on leaks.
• iPhone 12 launch date: Sept. 8 (rumored)
• iPhone 12 release date: October
• Models: iPhone 12 (5.4 inches), iPhone 12 Max (6.1 inches), iPhone 12 Pro (6.1 inches), iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7 inches)
• Prices: $649 (iPhone 12), $749 (iPhone 12 Max), $999 (iPhone 12 Pro), $1,099 (iPhone 12 Pro Max)
• Processor: A14 Bionic (all models)
• Screens: OLED (all models)
• Other features: 5G, LiDAR on Pro models
While we probably won’t see the iPhone 12 in September like we typically do with new iPhone releases, rumors and leaks have painted a pretty full picture of what to expect from Apple’s upcoming handsets, including their release dates, prices and specs.
The iPhone 12 is expected to come in four models: the 5.4-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. All four are expected to tout a design the hearkens back to the iPhone 5’s flat machined edges, along with a possibly slimmer notch.
In a recent report from acclaimed Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo Acknowledge by MacRumors, Kuo stated that Apple will avoid the massive price increases impacting rivals, by putting a squeeze on component supplies and downgrading the new iPhones’ battery technology. Something which looks damaging.
While analyzing this, Kuo clarifies that Apple’s adoption of Sub-6GHz 5G technology in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Plus will increase Apple’s costs by $75–$85, while the full fat millimeter wave 5G in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will add $125–$135. Such increases have added $200/300 to the final retail price of phones like Samsung’s Galaxy flagships, but Kuo stated Apple will slash up to 50% off its battery costs by moving the iPhone 12 models to batteries with simpler, smaller designs with fewer layers.
The result looks set to be a circa 10% reduction in battery capacities across the range, compared to the iPhone 11 line-up. Given the higher power consumption of 5G, this is a puzzling change and places real pressure on Apple’s superlative new A14 chip to pull off some power efficiency miracles. The lower capacities are also thought to be the reason behind Apple’s decision to scrap the ProMotion displays on the Pro models.
Additionally, while some iPhone fans may not be happy exchanging battery life for a cellular standard they cannot even receive, Apple looks committed to this process for the long term. Kuo states that Apple will go even further in 2021, moving the iPhone 13 lineup to a “purely soft board” battery design which will cut a further 30-40% from costs. How this impacts their performance, remains to be seen.
Obviously, this cost cutting decision could be a deal breaker for some upgraders, especially with the iPhone 12 range set to keep its big notch for another generation. All things considered, the aforementioned A14 chip could be a game-changer, their super small and super large new screen sizes will win new fans, the cameras are about to get a lot smarter and they have a new chassis design that looks great. Then there’s the fact Apple is going to beat rivals on price this year, and that alone could be huge.