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

Shawn Magnus of Sidney Courier has partnered with Sidney Business Improvement Area Society for free commercial delivery for society members. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney business association partners with courier for free commercial delivery

Service started Oct. 26 and extends to a radius of 35 kilometres

The Starbucks at 3849 Cadboro Bay Rd. closed permanently on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Google Maps)
Cadboro Bay Starbucks closes despite petition signed by nearly 250 residents

Closure part of transition to more drive-thru locations, Starbucks spokesperson says

The iconic and well-loved live music venue Logan’s is permanently closing its doors due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Google Maps)
Fernwood pub Logan’s permanently closing its doors

Live music venue unable to weather COVID-19 storm

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait was elected president of the Union of B.C. Municipalitiesin September 2019. She helped guide the 190-member organization through the coronavirus pandemic. (UBCM photo)
Sooke mayor front-line commander of the coronavirus pandemic

Maja Tait played pivotal role during COVID-19 crisis

Sooke School District No. 62 superintendent Scott Stinson explains that most block classes at Belmont Secondary will be halved. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke School District opens conversation on catchment boundary changes

Feedback solicited at virtual town hall Oct. 28

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

The Nightmare Before Christmas is the featured presentation in the first-ever Drive-In Movie and Concert Event, hosted by Harmony Project Sooke on Saturday (Oct. 31) at the SEAPARC parking lot. (Contributed photo)
TOP 5: Suggestions for your week ahead

We’ve got your weekend plans covered

A picture of John taken at Children’s Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River parking lot

The seven-year-old has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Most Read