The era of 5G iPhones is finally here.
Apple on Tuesday unveiled its iPhone 12 lineup, a slate of four devices that will be able to access super-fast wireless speeds that are as much as 10 or 20 times faster than current 4G networks.
Apple CEO Tim Cook launched the new phones via webcast from the company’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, with promises of upload, download and video speeds that exceed anything that has come before it.
“Today is the beginning of a new era for iPhone,” Mr. Cook said.
The company said that all of its new iPhones will support millimeter wave 5G, which is the fastest signal, in addition to lower-frequency 5G waves.
It even trotted out Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg to announce that the iPhone 12 will work on Verizon’s ‘ultrawideband’ 5G network designed to alleviate bottlenecks in dense cities like New York and LA.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called it “Apple’s most important product cycle since the iPhone 6 in 2014” in a research note, predicting that Apple’s focus on the benefits of 5G will be enough to inspire a “supercycle” of upgrades.
“Forty percent of the install base hasn’t upgraded their iPhone in the past three and a half years,” Ives explained to The Post. “I think the design and tech enhancements are going to be the magic combo that translates into the next stage of growth for Apple.”
But questions remain about whether Cook will be able to deliver on his 5G promises given that carriers are still scrambling to roll out their next generation networks and service is expected to remain spotty in some areas.
For some people, using the next iPhone or any 5G enabled device on today’s network will be “like having a Ferrari … but using it in your local village and you can’t drive to up to 200 miles per hour, simply because the roads cannot maintain those speeds,” Boris Metodiev, associate director of research firm Strategy Analytics told Reuters.
“I think 20 to 30 percent of the install base could be on the fence about 5G,” Ives said. “But I think they will come around because overall the technology enhancements plus 5G make this a no-brainer upgrade.”
Leading Tuesday’s lineup was the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, which feature three cameras each plus a state-of-the-art OLED display. The Pro and Pro Max will retail at $999 and $1,099, respectively — the same price as their iPhone 11 Pro predecessor.
The iPhone 12 has one fewer camera and a lower quality OLED screen, but comes with a cheaper $799 price tag.
The new iPhone 12 also comes in a mini variant, with a 5.4 inch touchscreen that will be sure to please critics of the super-sized smartphones that have become the norm in recent years. The Mini will retail starting at $699, which could appeal to people concerned about their job prospects in a topsy-turvy economy.
Apple’s latest iPhone design abandons the rounded edges that the device has sported for the past several years, replaced instead by iPad Pro-style flat edges that harkens back to the design of Apple’s mega-popular iPhone 4 line.
Apple is also limiting the freebies it provides in the iPhone box in order to cut costs associated with providing 5G capabilities. Gone will be the 18W power adapter and complementary pair of earbuds, which could help increase demand for its already popular and pricey AirPods.