Apple’s latest iPhone comes at an unprecedented time for the technology giant, after disruption to its supply chain amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
The iPhone 12 – the rumoured name for the new phone – will succeed the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro as the flagship smartphone in Apple’s line up.
Apple’s new iPhones were not present at this week’s “Time Flies” event, fuelling speculation that the company’s headquarters in Cupertino will host a separate event next month.
The new device is expected to come with changes to Face ID, improved camera and screen technology and a much bigger battery. It is also expected to come with 5G – faster network technology that will make downloads quicker.
When the new model launches, it will come with Apple’s latest iOS 14 software, which is boasting a range of new features including home screen widgets and a new built-in translate app.
The company has faced a turbulent market on its road to a launch day amid delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is everything we know so far about the iPhone 12.
When will the iPhone 12 be released?
Apple normally launches its premium iPhone range in September, although its iPhone X had a later release date in November. It also released its cheaper iPhone SE in April.
This year, however, Apple has said its iPhones – still the company’s biggest seller – will be delayed by several weeks, which eats into the number of days that shoppers have to buy them before the holidays and could lead to lower sales.
Analysts expect Apple to unveil a 5G iPhone and other updates at an event in October, with products going on sale later that month. Those expectations were also reinforced by this week’s “Time Flies” event, which curiously omitted any update on the latest iPhone.
What was unveiled this month?
Apple’s first live event of the autumn did not see the reveal of the iPhone 12, however, the tech giant still made a number of big announcements.
Chief among the updates was the new Apple Watch Series 6, starting at £379. The smartwatch has a new health sensor that allows users to measure their blood oxygen levels and also hosts a new S6 chip, which the company said was based on the same hardware used in the iPhone 11.
Elsewhere, Apple also unveiled a £259 Watch SE, boasting many of the Series 6 features, but without the 6’s powerful processor and always-on display.
The iPad line-up received a boost too with the iPad Air assuming the form factor of the hugely popular iPad Pro range.
The release of a new iPad and Apple Watches will correspond with the rollout of iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and watchOS 7 software updates this month. The company also announced Apple One services bundles.
Apple also unveiled its first bundle offer – a collection of subscriptions to its major services for one price – known as Apple One.
There are three tiers to Apple One. The Individual package includes Apple Music, TV+, Apple Arcade and 50GB of iCloud storage for £14.95 a month.
The top tier, known as Premier, includes Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, News+ Fitness+ and two terabytes of iCloud storage for £29.95 a month
It also launched a new subscription service from the iPhone maker, Fitness+ offers a range of workout sessions and classes led by pro instructors, which can be viewed on an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
What will the new iPhone be called?
The new iPhone is expected to be broadly known as the iPhone 12, but there could be several different variants with different sizes and specs. Analysts expect four new iPhones.
These will be the iPhone 12, which will have a 5.4-inch screen and a possible larger iPhone 12 Max with a 6.1-inch screen. Rumours have it that these phones will come with dual rear cameras and the capability to connect to 5G networks.
There will also be a more powerful iPhone 12 Pro with a 6.1-inch screen and a larger iPhone 12 Pro Max coming in with a 6.7-inch display. These phones are said to come with triple rear cameras and 5G connectivity.
The new iPhones are expected to come with then new option of a dark blue colour.
While concrete details on the aesthetics of the phone remain light, some believe Apple, either accidentally or on purpose, gave a glimpse at what the latest phone will look like.
In September’s Time Flies launch event video, while it was panning through the various areas of Apple’s campus, some eagle-eyed watchers believe they saw what the phone looks like.
New features to expect on the iPhone 12
At least some of the new iPhone devices coming next month are expected to boast the ability to connect to 5G networks. These phones will come with 5G modem chips, most likely from Qualcomm. Phones with 5G connectivity offer faster download speeds giving the ability to download or stream high definition films and games in seconds.
New sizes and screen technology
The four new iPhones are expected to come in several new sizes, split into two high-end devices and two cheaper devices. The smallest iPhone 12 model is, according to reports, going to have an approximately 5.4-inch screen, while two other models will have 6.1-inch screens. The largest phone will have a 6.7-inch screen. The Pro versions are also expected to come with 120Hz screen refresh rates, meaning the screens are more responsive for gaming. The 120Hz screen may only be available on the most expensive Pro Max model.
Apple’s phones currently come with Face ID technology on their front-facing cameras. This uses 3D depth sensing camera technology to read a user’s face. Now, Apple is planning to improve its rear cameras on at least some of its phones with similar technology to add better augmented reality capabilities. This will see it come with a Lidar laser scanner that can create more accurate augmented reality objects. However, this Lidar sensor may online come in the most expensive iPhone 12 Pro Max model, according to recent leaks.
According to Apple tipster Max Weinbach, the new iPhone will also come with improved camera technology that offers 3 times zoom, rather than the 2 times zoom it currently has.
The largest new iPhone is expected to come with an even larger battery than on previous models, according to Weinbach. It is expected to have up to a 4,400mAh battery, according to Weinbach.
No headphones or charger?
Yes, this year the new iPhones are also said to be the first sold without a bundled power adapter or a set of wired headphones. Analysts at TF Securities and Barclays have both predicted Apple will keep the charging cable that comes in the box, but ditch the wall plug.
This is likely to annoy anyone new switching to an iPhone if they lack the necessary adapters and have to splash extra money on new wires from Apple. However, as James Titcomb writes, it is probably not a bad thing to cut out all that unnecessary e-waste.
Apple probably gave its biggest hint yet that verify those early reports. The latest Apple Watch will be ditching the power adapter when it ships this year as the company pledges to cut down on its environmental impact.
How much will the new iPhone 12 cost?
The new devices are expected to come with several different levels of storage – between 128GB, 256GB and 512GB – which will affect their prices.
According to Jon Prosser of FrontPageTech, the regular iPhone 12 will start at $649 (£526), the iPhone 12 Max at $749, iPhone 12 Pro at $999 and iPhone 12 Pro Max at $1,099. There are currently no UK price estimates.