Apple will hold its next event on October 13, with invites for what’s expected to be its big iPhone 12 reveal landing today – and the “Hi, Speed” tagline suggests 5G is on the menu. The launch – which will, like the Apple Watch and iPad unveils, and WWDC 2020 before it, be live-streamed rather than an in-person event – will kick off at 10am PT (1pm ET), and the stakes are high.
That’s because 2020 is proving to be a year like no other. Apple was already believed to be readying for a significant season of iPhone hardware updates, but the pressures of the ongoing pandemic add another layer of complexity to any smartphone debut. Not least, making a convincing argument that premium-tier devices are worth spending money on right now.
According to previous leaks, there could be as many as four new iPhone models to help make that argument. The iPhone 12 family is likely to span three different sizes, from the smallest iPhone 12 mini having a 5.4-inch display. Then there’ll be the iPhone 12 with a 6.1-inch display, and the identically-sized – but feature-upgraded – iPhone 12 Pro.
Finally, there’ll be the largest iPhone 12 Pro Max. That could have a 6.7-inch display, if the rumors are to be believed.
As well as differences in cameras and other hardware, the 2020 iPhone is also believed to introduce 5G as a key differentiator. All models of iPhone 12 are believed to be including support for 5th Generation phone networks, but only in Sub-6 GHz form. Previous chatter has indicated only the most expensive versions will get the faster mmWave 5G, with a combination of pressures including physical size and component complexity forcing its omission in smaller, cheaper iPhone 12 handsets.
Whether that’s true – and, if so, how Apple will brand that disparity – we’ll know for sure in a week’s time. The new iPhone may not be the only announcement, either. Long-standing talk of Apple’s entry into the location tracking tag market, generally known as AirTags, could also well debut on October 13.
We may see other new accessories as well. Word of new Apple headphones has persisted for some months now, including the first segue of AirPods into headband-style models. The company’s decision to quietly oust third-party speakers from its store shelves, meanwhile, might be a sign that a smaller, more affordable HomePod mini is finally ready for prime-time.
We’ll find out for sure next week. The event kicks off at 10am PT from Apple’s HQ, and will be live-streamed. We’ll have all the news as it happens.