October 16, 2020

Thoughts on Apple's iPhone 12 keynote

A look at Apple's iPhone 12 keynote news. Also: is the public losing interest in Apple's keynotes?

Thoughts on Apple's iPhone 12 keynote

The pandemic's led Apple to announce this year's new line of iPhones (the iPhone 12) a month after their main mobile device keynote. Here's my thoughts on what was announced. Engadget has a summary of what was announced.

Apple also made a short minute-long video (or ad, I suppose) summarizing their keynote.

The iPhone 12 line

The new iPhone 12 line includes the basic 12, the smaller-screen 12 mini, the high-end 12 Pro, and the top-of-the-line 12 Pro Max. Yes, a total of four different phones.

Other details:

  • Screen sizes: ┬áthe 12 and 12 Pro are 6.1 inches, while the 12 Pro mini is 5.4 inches. Meanwhile, the 12 Pro Max is a whopping 6.7 inches.
  • All the screens with the iPhone 12 line are OLED displays.
  • The new phones come with Apple's newest A14 chip.
  • Similar to last year's 11 line, the 12 phones come in a range of colors. The 12 and 12 mini come in blue, green, red, white, and black; the 12 Pro and Pro Max come in Pacific blue, gold, graphite, and silver.
  • Capacity starts at 64GB for the 12 and 12 mini models, and 128GB for the Pro/Pro Max models.
  • The Pro models come with a LiDAR sensor to help enhance its camera. (More on LiDAR here.)
  • The 12 mini starts at $729 (with a $30 discount for AT&T and Verizon customers); the 12 starts at $829 (with the same $30 discount available). The Pro starts at $999, while the Pro Max starts at $1,099 (no discount available).

MagSafe returns, adapters and headphones leave

One surprise is the return of MagSafe, the former name for its magnetized power adaptors for the MacBook line. However, this time MagSafe is back as the name of Apple's magnetic wireless charging system. The Verge seems excited about the future possibilities of MagSafe.

Meanwhile, as of now, all new iPhones (of any model) won't come with a power adapter inside the box. (A USB C-to-Lightning cable will be included, however.) Those that want such will have to either reuse an old adapter or buy a new one. Apple says this is out of environmentalism concerns, but they also likely hope to sell plenty of adapters. (Apple is selling a 20W USB-C adapter for $19.)

Also going away are included headphones; you'll have to buy your own. (Apple's selling a new line of "Beats Flex" wireless headphones for $50.)

Is the public losing interest in iPhone keynotes?

Some have wondered whether or not the general public's losing interest in iPhone keynotes. Statista created this infographic based on Google search data, suggesting iPhone keynotes aren't as big as they once were:

Infographic
Infographic by Statista. (CC BY-ND)

Of course, this year's iPhone keynote was held separately from the rest of Apple's mobile news last month. Plus, smartphones, like PCs, have reached the point of needing to be replaced less often. New iPhones at this point are largely incremental upgrades for features of interest to the average person.

Other factors that could affect interest include the ongoing pandemic, the current economic recession, and the ongoing political/election circus. I'll note that even sports aren't immune to the current distracted state of things. TV ratings for sports, including the Stanley Cup and NBA championships, have plummeted to record lows.

"iPhone 11 Pro" by yto is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Flickr / cropped from original)

Tags: TechiPhoneApplekeynoteinfographicStatista