Apple Reveals Price, Performance Concerns With iPhone 12 Series

Apple’s new iPhones have arrived and there were few surprises because the leaks were dead right. But now Apple has confirmed new details about both the iPhone 12 range and existing models, which will prove seriously problematic for many users. 

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Let’s break them down:

Secretive Price Increases

When Apple announced the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12, the company stated they will cost $699 and $799 respectively but that was disingenuous. The reality is those prices are only available as part of carrier offers on AT&T and Verizon. Buy your iPhone from another carrier or even unlocked from Apple and the iPhone 12 mini will cost you $729 while the iPhone 12 costs $829. 

And this adds up. Neither model includes EarPods ($20) or the required USB-C wall charger ($20). Compare this to last year’s iPhone 11 ($699 incl. these accessories) and the iPhone 12 is actually $170 more expensive than its predecessor. Ouch. 

Older Models Affected Too

Apple will continue to sell the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 with their prices dropping $100 each to $499 and $599, but it’s not as good as it looks. Why? Because Apple is also removing EarPods and the wall charger from these older models, so you’ll need to spend the aforementioned additional $40 to replace them. 

Popular leaker DuanRui has revealed the new slimmer iPhone 11 packaging:

Apple has argued that the decision was about reducing environmental waste, rather than saving money. But, as industry insider Ice Universe points out: “Apple said the cancellation of the charger is for environmental protection. But this has led to thousands of charging head factories vying to produce a large number of chargers for iPhone 12. Is this environmentally friendly?”

Personally, I would argue Apple should’ve switched all iPhones to USB-C if it wanted to maximize environmental benefits. 

Low Grade 5G For Most

Apple made a big deal about the introduction of “superfast” 5G at the iPhone 12 launch event, but most buyers will not get the premium version of it, no matter which new model they buy. This is because Apple has decided it will only support mmWave (the fastest 5G standard) on iPhone 12 models sold in the US. Every other country will miss out. 

mmWave modems are extremely expensive and deemed to be a major factor in why Apple had to cut bundled accessories and reduce battery capacities across the range. But global support for mmWave was included on the Pixel 5 and it costs $699. With the iPhone 12 Pro Max starting from $1,100, you have every right to feel short-changed. 

Qi Charging Left Behind

Arguably, the most impressive aspect to Apple’s iPhone 12 launch was the reintroduction of the MagSafe brand, kickstarting a new ecosystem of magnetic accessories. MagSafe will also fast charge at 15W. Unfortunately, Apple chose not to make the same advances with the widely supported Qi wireless charging standard. 

Despite Qi supporting 15W for some time (the Galaxy S10+ had it in early 2019), Apple has again limited the iPhone 12 range to 7.5W Qi charge speeds. This means you’ll need to buy into Apple’s licensed MagSafe accessories if you want fast wireless charging on your iPhone 12 model, rather than using any fast Qi charger you may already own. This doesn’t cut down on environmental waste and, needless to say, MagSafe charging is incompatible with other phones. 

All of which means, whether you’re buying a shiny new iPhone 12 model or an older iPhone 11 or XR, they are going to cost more than you think and, in some cases, will deliver less than you expect. This is not to rubbish the range (there’s a lot to like), but you need to go in with your eyes open because all these details are only revealed in the small print. 

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