back to article It's that time of the year when Apple convinces you last year's iPhones weren't quite magical enough, so buy this new 5G iPhone 12 instead

Apple on Tuesday wheeled out its iPhone 12 range featuring a more powerful system-on-chip, harder glass, sharper displays, and 5G. The latest additions are split in two: the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini, and the iPhone Pro and iPhone Max. The iPhone 12 Mini reverses the trend of ever-larger phones and heads back toward iPhone …

  1. Sampler

    Covid Mobiles

    Does anyone really need a new mobile now we're all sat at home with access to our larger electronic devices (tablets, laptops, computers, smart tv's/projectors etc..).

    I got the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Wonderpants and I really don't know why, my Note 8's battery was worn a bit I guess but I sit at home all day next to a charger, why, why do I need a new phone? It has 5G, but, I can already stream video at a high enough quality on 4G? And that's the biggest bandwidth usage.

    By the sounds of things, by the time they let us back out in to the daylight we might as well get the 13..

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Covid Mobiles

      Many people are still working in logistics, food production, healthcare etc.

      Others have been furloughed, and have more time for hobbies than might include taking long walks and snapping pictures.

      But for sure - there's been no 'must have' new feature for a few years now; improvements are largely incremental. Still, for those who are in the market for a new iPhone at least these new models are placing an emphasis on durability (improved water and dust resistance on the iPhone Mini, new ceramic-infused glass screens) so should see a few good years service.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Covid Mobiles

      I assume you are quite old @Sampler, because people don't use those things even when at home... they'll sit in front of their 60" TV using their 6" phone for email, social media, web browsing, shopping and gaming, and typically its their only music device too.

      People stuck at home might even be using the phones more?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Covid Mobiles

        Honestly, I can't imagine using a phone (or similarly-size device) for any of those things (except music) - the ergonomics are just atrocious!

    3. anonanonanonanonanon

      Re: Covid Mobiles

      Depends if I'm too lazy to look for my iPad

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Covid Mobiles

      Some of us still need to go in to work unfortunately.

  2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

    Three sizes, good screen, excellent CPU, excellent global cell radios, good cameras, strong body, weak screen, no headphone jack, not enough RAM, barely any storage, expensive and barely used sensors, software lock-down, and that Lightning connector is still there. OK, it got faster, it has 5G, and it can probably do AR stuff better if anyone did AR stuff.

    You'd think Apple could mix it up every now and then. Apple's stuck at 14% market share because they essentially only make only one phone model.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

      Apple's 14% market share doesn't bother them because they have a majority share of the profits in the sector.

      On the sensor thing: nobody will use the sensor fully untill a third party dev creates a killer app for it. No dev will do so untill the hardware is available. Because iPhone buyers are less price sensitive, they are more tolerant of buying hardware they might not use - but should a useful application be developed they know they can use it. Additionally, by taking a punt on a specific sensor, the cost per unit comes down.

      1. anonanonanonanonanon

        Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

        iOS dev here who's really excited about the LiDAR, we've been developing for it since the iPad Pro launched, not sure it's a "killer" app for everyone, but a lot of our customers are very keen on it

        1. Samsara

          Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

          Yeah, I'm very excited about the possibilities of LIDAR too, as a full time video/audio/3d guy

        2. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

          I'm on record here for being excited about LiDAR / Laser Time of Flight / Whatever the Hell that Qualcomm Reference Design Was A Few Years Back ( real time 3D mapping of a pianist's fingers). But I'm a weirdo. The idea of using a phone as an accurate 3D scanner so that I can svan a room and then have timber cut by my local timber merchant's CNC router is exciting - more so than any plastic 3D printer.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

      > You'd think Apple could mix it up every now and then.

      What would you like to see? :)

      Samsung and others are breaking the mold with foldable phones, but all reviews suggest they're not ready for mass adoption yet. Novelty for novelty's sake.

      LG have a twin-screened twisty phone - but the market has punished their weirdness ( such as modular phones) ever since their G2.

      Motorola's Mod system looked genuinely useful, but they didn't have the market share to sell it on their own - Apple do, and indeed have implemented a similar concept on iPads. However, the main use of the Moto Mod system - a battery 'back pack' - Apple have achieved with the Lightening connector. Indeed, there's a healthy 3rd party market in Lightening accessories for iPhones from high end microphones to Leica laser scanners.

      1. Screwed

        Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

        I'd like a small phone - the 12 mini might be suitable - with the ability to attach it to another device (iPad being obvious, but also PC, Mac or Android tablet) so as to have the option of a larger screen, keyboard, etc.

        I can easily imagine carrying anything from an iPad mini through to an iPad Pro in may bag and using the new MagSafe to snap the phone onto the back of the tablet when needed. Automatic detection, of course, and automatic connection. Even new-style Touch ID if the iPad has it! With the iPhone/iPad combo then being like a huge phone. Why, the much bigger iPad could even act as a powerpack.

        It might also make sense to then produce iPads without cameras.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

          @Screwed

          Those aren't insane ideas. I had similar ideas when the iPad was first released - 'why the hell didn't they make it work as a secondary monitor / graphics tablet for a Mac straight out of the box?!'*

          But if I'm understanding you correctly, your talking more about a dumb big screen than an iPad. Or rather, an iPad that acts as a big dumb screen for an iPhone. With seen similar devices in android world - tablets into which a phone docks. The trouble with that approach is trust - the user might end up with a useless big dumb screen if no future phones adopt the system. Apple might end up having to support the system or else face backlash for leaving users with an obsekeye big dumb screen.

          If you're talking about using an iPad to do your phone things - that's largely with cloud accounts and software these days - emails started in the phone can be completed on the iPad or Mac.

          Two fully capable and discrete devices keeps things simple for the user and more profitable for Apple.

          * I guess the answer is messaging: if Apple had pitched the original iPad at a small niche of graphic artists, it might have caused mainstream punters to think it was *only* for graphic artists. As it happened, software allowed some useful features - Adobe made an app that mirrored a Mac's Photoshop tool palettes to an iPad.

          1. Teiwaz

            Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

            Apple might end up having to support the system or else face backlash for leaving users with an obsekeye big dumb screen.

            Well, it'd be like apple to insist on selling it's users a big dumb screen that only connects with apple products they've ordained for the purpose.

            Ideally, a big dumb screen should outlive a fair bit of more transient kit, provided the connectors are still in use.

            I've often thought, even though we have lots more screens around us than a couple of years ago, mostly they're not helpful. Sitting on the sofa in front of a 'smart' telly with a 'smart' phone in hand, it's not smart enough to allow you to cast what you are doing on the phone onto the nice convenient big screen, or when at a desk or table with a laptop or desktop, utilise the smartphone as an additional control, input device or monitor.

      2. Zolko Bronze badge

        Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

        >> "You'd think Apple could mix it up every now and then."

        > "What would you like to see? :)"

        a desktop use: now that these phones are powerful enough to be used in laptops, having a dock where an external display and keyboard and mouse and stylus and joystick are connected, and plugging in the phone I have a real desktop experience. Or a game-console. Or connected to a large TV, or projector ... but easy plug'n-play: you get home, put your phone on a stand, and is is connected to the TV and HiFi and you can play music instantly. Without needing a charger and set-up a screen-cast, bluetooth to the speaker ...

        What Samsung has actually developed. Or the Nintendo Switch.

        THAT would be innovation.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

          Samsung have it. I have a Samsung. I don't use it.

          The issue is that one still needs a monitor, mouse and keyboard - by which time I might as well have the above connected to a discrete Pi or X86 box for bit much extra money.

      3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

        Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

        > What would you like to see? :)

        1 - Headphone jack. Bluetooth is great for phone calls or video conferencing but it still can't manage high music fidelity, especially with a lot of nearby 2.4GHz devices.

        2 - More storage or expandable storage. Not everyone needs it but there are uses for it. It can be used for offline maps, FLAC files, and backing up cameras, laptops, etc.

        3 - Desktop mode is gaining support in more Android phones. Sometimes it's easier to get vacation approval when any hotel TV can turn your cellphone into an emergency laptop computer. It's actually not bad.

        Right now I have an LG Velvet 5G. It's loaded with nuisance problems but it gets the job done. An iPhone may have better design but it would be a downgrade in usefulness.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

          For high fidelity music, you'd want to choose a phone with a good DAC and amp... LG are famous for including such goodies, but oddly not the LG Velvet

          The DAC and amp in the Apple Lightening > 3.5mm adaptor is said to be very good (and it's cheap) but others are available ranging from cheap to audiophile. So you don't have to take a hit on audio quality if you don't want to.

          Yeah, using a dongle can be inconvenient if you want to charge the phone at the same time as using wired headphones and you don't have a wireless charger to hand.

          I use a micro SD card in my Galaxy phone, but one can only really use it for storing music and app data (put it in phone and leave it there) or for juggling data between phone and cameras (often swap it in and out) - but not both. Attempting to do so confuses apps and music music data bases. For importing data from a camera, a USB C > SD card reader is a safer option, and full size SD cards are harder to fumble and lose. Carry such a dongle in a laptop or camera back is no hardship.

          I can see someone using using a phone as a data repository - because though we carry them with us everywhere, we do tend to be mindful of them so are less likely to misplace them than we would an SD card.... but if redundancy is key then copying to two SD cards and keeping one in wallet and one in suitcase is also an option.

          I'm not saying your way of doing things is the wrong way, just that there are other ways of achieving the same end results - with perhaps different pros and cons.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      "Apple's stuck at 14% market share"

      They care about the market share in countries where they can make big money - they know they don't need a lineup of forty different models so they can even save on development, production and logistics.

      It works - as with any fashion goods - and they keep on. I would blame them for their monopolistic attitudes, not for their lineup.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: "Apple's stuck at 14% market share"

        I see the advantages of a streamlined product range (in terms of design, manufacture, warehousing and logistics), but I don't associate it specifically with fashion goods. Indeed, it's often fashion brands (clothes, bags, watches) that tend to have sprawling, ever-changing product ranges.

  3. RM Myers Silver badge
    Unhappy

    5G, raw files, smart speaker with digital assistant

    So basically just playing catch up with other vendors plus some incremental hardware improvements to the iPhone. Meh.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: 5G, raw files, smart speaker with digital assistant

      RAW files are a different beast in this age of multi-sensor computational photography. Of course RAW files always varied by vendor (eg, Nikon, Canon, etc) and would require different plugins on your desktop software. Apple's new RAW files are in the same vein, including raw camera sensor data as well as depth data from the LiDAR chip and processing results from its SoC.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPhone 12 you say

    Get back to me in 5 years when they are being run-out cheap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iPhone 12 you say

      When you consider that an iPhone 12 is (assuming a 1:1 $:£ conversion) is 55% of the average take-home (post-tax) monthly pay in the UK ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iPhone 12 you say

        De Beers used to run ads suggesting that two months' salary was an appropriate amount to spend on a diamond engagement ring that would (hopefully!) last a lifetime. Now it's the amount we're expected to spend on a phone that will last 5 years.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: iPhone 12 you say

          But I make that much in a week, and I suspect there are a lot of people reading this who make more than that. Still won't be buying a new phone form a few years though...

          1. J27 Silver badge

            Re: iPhone 12 you say

            Yes, but you don't need to spend it just because you have it. Throwing money at consumer items like phones is how people turn a good income into a mound of consumer debt and no retirement savings.

    2. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: iPhone 12 you say

      What makes you think an iPhone 12 will still work in five years? That "50% faster" thing almost certainly means that iOS will be a total pig on it in 3-5 years, as iOS devs chase the iPhone 15 (It's got Electrolytes!), and support will be phased out by year 6.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iPhone 12 you say

        I'm still running my 6s quite happily with no noticeable slow down so I doubt the 12 is going to be a pig in 5 years.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I welcome the Fanbois

    who absolutely must have the latest phone. It means loads of much more reasonably priced slightly used ones for the rest of us.

    I hope that they all go out and upgrade as that will drive down used prices and make them more affordable for the rest of us.

    1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

      Re: I welcome the Fanbois

      Amen to that.

      Haven't bought a new phone in 12 years, and have felt no shame in company!

  6. 45RPM Silver badge

    My iPhone 7 is a little long in the tooth now. And the iPhone Mini is just my cup of tea. I might get one - but first I want to see what the ARM based MacBooks are like (to replace my 2010 MacBook Air), and whether my budget can stretch to both.

    1. tip pc Silver badge

      Arm Mac’s

      I was wishing for 2 more things in that announcement.

      Air tags

      ARM Mac’s

      I’d like to replace my old Xeon server with a modern multi chip arm system with a shed load of ram and ssd.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Arm Mac’s

        I’d like to replace my old Xeon server with a modern multi chip arm system with a shed load of ram and ssd.

        There's an outfit "MINIS FORUM" on Amazon which sells mini PCs based on ARM. Their prices are not outrageous. Otherwise, go build your own. Plenty of boards and ARM CPUs to choose from by now.

        Of course, if you want something officially Apple you'll have to wait for a bit more. The ARM dev kits are being sent out, but I reckon it may take another year before Apple makes the switch because they have to take care of the migration path too, like they did from PowerPC to Intel.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Arm Mac’s

          Apple aren't 'switching' immediately - there's a roadmap of two years in which both ARM and Intel Macs will be sold - starting with an ARM Macbook Pro in 2021.

          The choice of using a MacBook Pro to demonstrate MacOS on ARM could be to distinguish Apple's efforts from the bad smell of Microsoft's Windows on Arm efforts ( which were seen as being slow, with poor compatibility and poor software availability, and confusing). It's also possible that they will release a Mac Mini type ARM machine as a lower cost option for MacOS software developers to test on (just as lots of cross-platform developers once used iPod Touchs as a low cost way to test iOS software).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Arm Mac’s

            I don't think Apple has to work hard to avoid bad Microsoft-produced smells - their migration track record is actually quite good.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Arm Mac’s

        Yeah, the AirTags were notable by their absence, as were the Apple over-ear headphones.

        I've recently taken a punt on a TrackR Pixel tag to attach to my keys and I've found it to be handy on a few occasions. The core functionality - use my phone to page my keys if they're within range - appears to work well. The extended function - cloud based, using other TrackR users to locate my keys should they walk past them - depends upon there being enough other TrackR users, and I suspect it is their small market share compared to Tile that led to me picking up a packet of three for five quid in TK Maxx. Definitely worth a punt at that price!

        Of course Apple have enough critical density of iPhone users that they could make a distributed find-my-keys service work.

        Also, I tend to keep my (Android) location services turned down in order to preserve ailing battery life - though I should look at that again because the Serco Track and Trace app won't work without it (which is weird, because its built upon a Google / Apple Bluetooth token system that shouldn't require location info to work)

        1. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: Arm Mac’s

          I turned my location services down to the lesser accuracy one to preserve battery life and I only put the bluetooth bit on when actually needed for the same reason.. If I get contacted by the ScotGov track and trace bods because of a customer in Costa I can tell them I was across the thin alley in the BHF charity shop on the till behind a barrage of perspex screens and wearing a face shield.

      3. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Arm Mac’s

        I think Apple feels that the ARM Macs will deserve an event of their own, rather than being a "one more thing" like if it was just an update to a Macbook with a new Intel CPU with another + added on to it.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Arm Mac’s

          Indeed. Also, they've already held an event to announce ARM Macs for developers, and said that ARM Macs won't be sold until 2021.

  7. gnasher729 Silver badge

    I think one or two percent of iPhone owners ever update from last years phone. So the title is quite incorrect. This phone isn't aimed at people who have an iPhone 11. They just produce a better phone every year, so depending on your patience, the point of replacing your old phone comes after two years, or three years, or 5 years.

    In large families, say mom, dad and two kids each having an iPhone, they may buy one phone every year and move all the old phones one down the line. So paying one brand new phones gives you a one year improvement for four phones in the family.

    1. Totally not a Cylon

      Yes,

      Currently have a 1st gen iPhone SE which will be upgraded to 12 Mini at some point....

      That's a 7 year old phone which is still working..... (but getting outdated)

      1. James O'Shea

        Same here. Or I may wait until next year and get a 13. Apple says my SE is worth $30 as a trade-in, so I expect that it'll just be my spare phone.

        The battery is at 87% of full capacity nd at this point I don't think that it's cost-effective to replace the battery, so I may get a replacement before the 13 comes out. If I do, it may be a X, the price just came down. I'll probably go with the mini, though. Not for the 5H, I couldn't care less about that,

        not with the alleged 5G coverage locally, but because of the smaller form factor.

        We;ll see come December or January.

        1. Dwarf Silver badge

          Battery replacement is cheap to do as long as you are reasonably competent. iFixit have all the instructions / videos, tools and spare parts.

          I've done about 5 devices over the last couple of months and its time consuming since its detailed work and one false move can break things (ask me how I know) , but on balance, no other need to replace the devices as old iPhones and iPad's are still more than capable for the required purposes much like older PC's remain viable for many years.

    2. BigAndos

      12 looks OK but I'll be sticking with my XS until it breaks or 5G is widespread! Does everything I need and Apple stuff does last well. My wife's 2013 ipad is still going strong.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      That's true

      I used to replace my iPhone every year - back when AT&T would give me a free upgrade to the new one and I could sell last year's for a big wad of cash that paid a good chunk of that expensive AT&T plan.

      Now I upgrade every other year, which I feel provides a nice balance between "enough has changed to make it worthwhile" and "my old phone still has a big trade in / sale value". I use my phone about 3 hours a day (not including calls, which are rarer and rarer these days) which is about 1000 hours a year. If after trade in I spend $500 ish every two years that's around 25 cents per hour. If only other forms of entertainment like TV, movies, eating out, etc. were so cheap!

      I upgraded last year even though I knew 5G was coming, because 5G just isn't that big of a deal. If I go to an area where 5G is built out with my non-5G phone, LTE will be faster because all the people who have 5G phones will be using it instead of LTE... When I upgrade in a year, there's a slight chance there might even be some 5G within 30 miles of where I live, but I'm probably dreaming!

    4. just_some_dude

      Well, you could read the title a few ways. What they offered last year wasn't compelling enough to get you to upgrade so they come up with new models and marketing to try to convince you it is worth it to buy the this year's model. You could buy last year's model today but they'd of course rather you buy the latest and greatest hence the marketing event.

      I think the the gist of the title is really that it is 2020 and for most people the latest wizbang smartphones just aren't that exciting anymore.

  8. tip pc Silver badge

    iPhone 12s

    I watched the event and was wowed by what I saw, Dolby vision, sensor shift, stronger screen glass, new mag connector, a14, 128gb base storage.

    All really useful features but rememberibg the iphone 6 and that the 6s is still supportd while the 6 isnt im thinking the 12s would be the smart buy.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: iPhone 12s

      Maybe, but the iPhone 6 only had 1GB of RAM whereas as the 6S had 2. The 6S, whilst looking near identical to its predecessor, had a significantly faster processor. I think these factors might explain why support for the 6 has been dropped.

      It's hard to imagine the iPhone 12 S boasting such a leap in specs over the 12 that it will have a significantly longer period of support.

    2. Dwarf Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: iPhone 12s

      Obligatory previous marketing spoofs

      iPhone 5 marketing parody

      iPhone 5 Laser keyboard and holographic displays

      I'm not even going to mention the gullible user "microwave charging software update" - seriously don't try this at home, it just cooks your phone -- Vids on YouTube.

  9. Piro

    Still with the Lightning

    If they replaced it across the board with USB Type C, then I might have asked my work for a new iPhone 12 Mini, because it's been a hell of a long time since you could get a phone in a normal size.

    But with Lightning, nah.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still with the Lightning

      'tis but a cable..

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Still with the Lightning

        If I'm out and about, there are more Lightening cables around in pubs and houses than there are the USB C cables I need to charge my phone.

        It's no big issue for me, but I appreciate that many folk are keen on the idea of one cable to rule them all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Still with the Lightning

          I'm with you on that. I never have a problem finding a Lightning cable, despite my habit of immediately binning a cable if it's less than perfect, but I have yet to get enough USB-C cables to make them ubiquitous, also because there are as yet no USB-C hubs (as in "a box with multiple USB-C ports").

          The latter means I still need ye olde USB format (although not that old, most of what I have is USB 3).

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Still with the Lightning

            Or if you just have a religious objection to proprietary cables, charge it wirelessly and you don't need a cable at all. I charge my 11 Pro Max every other day and it usually has 30%+ when I plug it in, so I have yet to need to scramble for a way to charge it in a bar or whatever. Not that I've actually been in a bar for about six months now, but that's a totally different issue...

          2. Solviva

            Re: Still with the Lightning

            I've got a box with 4 usb-c connectors that serves great as a charging hub. It scores extra points for its large built-in battery, also has a screen, keyboard and extremely annoying 'touchbar'. Was a bit pricey though...

  10. IGotOut Silver badge

    Wow...

    "Apple says the iPhone 12 is 11 per cent thinner and 16 per cent lighter"

    And it will be immediately be put in a case that is 11 per cent thicker and 16 per cent heavier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So the package...

      will be the same as the "naked" previous model.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Wow...

      > And it will be immediately be put in a case that is 11 per cent thicker and 16 per cent heavier.

      And as a result the new model will still be thinner and lighter than the old model when compared *in the same circumstances* - i.e when both models are in cases.

    3. macjules Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Wow...

      They meant to add "... on your wallet"

    4. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Wow...

      Why? I have never used a case on any of my iPhones. And have never (knock on wood) broken any of them despite a few drops onto concrete or wood floors here and there.

      People who put a case on a phone are going to do so regardless of how thin or thick it is, unless it is one of those "ruggedized" phones designed for tradespeople like the ones CAT makes.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lets people talk to each other through their HomePod speakers

    I have this vision of two people next to each other on a sofa, each cuddling their own amazon baby on the lap, talking through the box to their partner. Might make it into an ad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: lets people talk to each other through their HomePod speakers

      It already happens - I've seen someone at the airport spend an hour and a half on his mobile to a colleague who was sitting in the same lounge area.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: lets people talk to each other through their HomePod speakers

        Covid prevention?

        :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: lets people talk to each other through their HomePod speakers

          My friend had a birthday in a pub the other evening, her friends sat on two adjoining tables. She brought some paper cups and string with her, but she couldn't persuede anyone on the next table to adopt the new communications protocol.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: lets people talk to each other through their HomePod speakers

            Understandable. It does away withe the "bad reception" and "my battery is almost empty" excuses to limit the eternal ramblers.

          2. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: lets people talk to each other through their HomePod speakers

            Probably a good thing - how long would it have been before the server bringing the next round got tangled in the string and spilled drinks on the birthday girl?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: lets people talk to each other through their HomePod speakers

        > It already happens - I've seen someone at the airport spend an hour and a half on his mobile to a colleague who was sitting in the same lounge area.

        The Two Ronnies - Crossed Line sketch

  12. achillesneil

    Why ?

    Why anyone would want a phone that is so locked-down and restrictive baffles me.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Why ?

      Because it’s not all about you and the vast majority of people don’t care about the stuff that’s locked down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why ?

        > Because it’s not all about you and the vast majority of people don’t care about the stuff that’s locked down.

        Well it seems 85% plus of the world who buys smart phones does care. Because that how many people dont buy iPhones.

        I had an iPad lying around after a dev project so decided to use it as PDF ebook viewer. After a huge hassle finally got the PDF ebooks on the device. And discovered it had renamed all the files when I tried to move them. I gave away the iPad. Used Android tablets for reading PDF ebooks ever since without the slightest hassle. Connect as a USB storage device and copy over files. Zero hassle.

        I had an iPhone sitting around from another dev project and as it had 128G decided to use it as a MP3 player while traveling. Again after a huge hassle got the music / audio books on the device. Which it regularly mislays. Fixed by a reboot. Used a bunch of Android phones for the same purpose. Again zero hassle getting files on and off, moving them about. or playing them.

        As a mobile developer for well over a decade I avoid iOS projects like the plague, unless porting off the device. Its not as gruesome as it was ten years ago but getting apps into the hands of testers, coworkers, customers (not to mention the god awful dev closed environment) is always a never-ending torment on iOS. But always very straightforward on Android.

        I fully understand the why of the iPhone market. Large part conspicuous consumption of luxury goods bough by high disposable income people easily swayed by marketing and social peer pressure. Small part business use by customers who need the more mature MDM infrastructure or specific software.

        So when someone has a business issued iPhone I completely understand why. But everyone else, the phrase a fool and his money come to mind. Because the iPhone is the tech equivalent of the $5,000 fashion handbag for most buyers. And I also understand why app developers put so much effort into the iOS market. Because its far easier to sell pay / in app purchase apps to the affluent suckers who buy luxury goods than to the ordinary people who buy purely on value. Which tends to be the Android customers.

        Guess which kind of customer is the easier to exact money out of? Thats the only reason the iOS app revenue market share is as high is as it is. Shooting fish in a barrel.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well it seems 85% plus of the world who buys smart phones does care

          tldr

          The majority buy Android because it's significantly cheaper. Apple's walled garden doesn't cross their minds.

          1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

            Re: Well it seems 85% plus of the world who buys smart phones does care

            "The majority buy Android because it's significantly cheaper. Apple's walled garden doesn't cross their minds."

            Well I know plenty of people who used to buy Apple and haven't done so for a long time because they hated how the phones prevented them doing what they wanted.

            But if you want to believe otherwise that's just fine, but make sure your head doesn't get stuck up there. Hospitals are overworked at the moment and waiting lists for self inflicted injuries are long.

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: Well it seems 85% plus of the world who buys smart phones does care

              I'm guessing you "know plenty of people" who think like you do. Perhaps you should consider that your friends are not representative of the average person.

              Do your "plenty of people" also heavily use Facebook, which I would bet you do not? I'm guessing they are not representative of the average person who could give a shit about Apple's walled garden, not having a SD card slot, not having a replaceable battery and all the other excuses lobbed by people who want to believe Android's 85% market share is not because unlike Apple it has a low end and most of the world can't imagine spending $200 on a phone, let alone $1200.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why ?

          So you're ignorant on how to use an iPad/iPhone and ignorant on how to develop for one but you've got the confidence to sit here and project your drivel.

          That amazes me.

          Maybe we shouldn't give much credence to the words of someone who can't even work out how to load music and ebooks on to an iPhone.

        3. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: Why ?

          "As a mobile developer for well over a decade I avoid iOS projects like the plague, unless porting off the device. Its not as gruesome as it was ten years ago but getting apps into the hands of testers, coworkers, customers (not to mention the god awful dev closed environment) is always a never-ending torment on iOS. But always very straightforward on Android."

          Strange. I never had any problems with that. Archive, upload, and everyone using Testflight can download it. No problem at all.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Why ?

      Because 99.99% of the population only use the Google play store on Andriod as well.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Why ?

      There are different forms of restriction. An Apple user might feel restricted at not being able to run software not obtained through the App Store. This was especially evident before Apple allowed 3rd party keyboards on the App Store. An Android user - as I am - might feel restricted because some of the better third-party productivity software is only made for iOS and not Android. Similarly, some third party hardware is only made to work with iPhones / iPads. After several years, I might feel that my supply of software updates has been restricted as well.

      I think its important to look at restriction as a principal, vs how it impacts a workflow in practice. I suspect a great many people's actual workflows aren't impeeded by Apple's artificial restrictions.

    4. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Why ?

      What restrictions affect the normal user? They can make calls to people on other phones, they can use 3rd-party messenging and video call apps as well as Apple's own, they can stream and download music and video from non-apple sources...

      Sure they can't easily download the app you wrote and put on your web-site, but they don't want to.

      Might as well ask why anyone buys a PS4 rather than a PC... 'cos they want to use it not piss about with it.

      1. Tessier-Ashpool

        Re: Why ?

        One restriction I find particularly annoying is the block on taking a screen shot from an iTunes movie. I'm quite a keen sci-fi movie fan, and I've often posted screen grabs of certain scenes on forums, to illustrate a point. How do I do it? I run up a Windows 10 virtual machine on my MacBook. The VM has iTunes installed. I run that up, play the movie from there and make a screen grab. I get nothing if I do it on an iGadget or macOS directly.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Why ?

          > One restriction I find particularly annoying is the block on taking a screen shot from an iTunes movie.

          Not just an iOS thing.

          I surprised the other day when a website in Chrome Android prevented me from taking a screenshot. Didn't know it could. Searched for solutions, but they involved rooting or some other hassle.

    5. anonanonanonanonanon

      Re: Why ?

      Well, be baffled, but many would say it's a feature, not a drawback. It's a phone, not a computer, it's pretty damn secure and has all the apps you need, and blocks a lot of apps you definitely don't

      iOS is also very good as a development platform (If you're not one to reflexively gag at the word of apple mentioned). I think this is partly the reason many apps come first on iOS, it's very quick to develop for, and swift (which i used to dislike) makes it pretty hard to write in dumb bugs.

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: swift (which i used to dislike) makes it pretty hard to write in dumb bugs.

        Stick at it! You'll get there!!

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why ?

      Why you bother to post this seems to baffle far more.

  13. JDX Gold badge

    Seems to miss the main story

    Along with ehe new iPhone 12, prices on the 11, SE and XR have been slashed. You can get the 11 for £599 which is comparable with OnePlus, which bills itself as a mid-range phone.

    SE for £399... has Apple ever had a phone that cheap?

    If you're on an older model, these are attractive prices.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Seems to miss the main story

      I did buy an iPhone 5s when O2 sold off its remaining stock brand new for £240. But then if you found a store that still has an unsold iPhone 7 or 8, I’d expect that to be cheaper as well.

    2. Marty McFly Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Seems to miss the main story

      The SE is a winner. Same size as my old iPhone 6, and it keeps the home button. Decent price point too. Very happy with it.

      1. Tessier-Ashpool

        Re: Seems to miss the main story

        Yeah, I got one of those. Very good trade in for my iPhone 8, so it was pretty cheap. I must say, I prefer the aluminium edges of the 12, though. iPhone 6,7,8,SE2 are all too hard to pick up with their slippery rounded edges.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Seems to miss the main story

      The original SE was sold for 399 (pick your currency) so Apple has done that before.

      I even a few places selling it for as little as $299 on special around the time Apple dropped it.

  14. Jason Hindle Silver badge

    I have a an iPhone 7 in very good condition....

    And Apple's trade in is actually more generous than I paid for it on eBay.... And the 12 is the first iPhone in years that I think I might actually want.

    1. Oh Matron!

      Re: I have a an iPhone 7 in very good condition....

      Apple's trade in is actually quite good. I got more for my series 4 apple watch than CEX could give (it was scratched, but Apple cared not).

  15. The Pi Man

    5nm chip

    I’m at a complete loss to understand why both The Register, and Apple think that a 5nm chip is some kind of selling point? It really, really is one the least important reasons to buy one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Perhaps not a direct reason to buy

      But it does mean the processor uses less power, has space for more blocks (which will use more power) and allows the clock speeds to be increased.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: 5nm chip

      Talking about a 5nm chip (TSMC) highlights the issues that Intel have had with their sub 10nm processes. Apple would be missing a trick if they didn't use this announcement to build the groundwork for their upcoming 5nm ARM Macs (as indeed the snappy performance of current iPhones and iPads helps the public perception of the upcoming Macs). Apple rarely miss tricks - they pay very competent people good money for this reason.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5nm chip

      It’s because Intel can’t manage it and maybe never will.

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: 5nm chip

      Because, Apple et al would like you to think that they are the first to market with 5nm, when in fact they are behind Huawei...

      The value of 5nm is more compute power for energy consumed, so in theory better performance and longer battery life.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    An Apple fanboi writes...

    The iPhone 12 pro really does seem like a remarkable, almost magical, piece of kit: the new camera, 5nm silicon (gone very quiet have we, Intel?), speed increases, display quality increases, much better glass, 5G, and a nice if a little lazy throwback design to the iconic iPhone 4. And iOS 14 isn’t too shabby either.

    And when we get some decent reviews - which require people to actually have the phone for a while - this will all be borne out.

    But is it really worth upgrading? No, of course not. Everything we have right now is way more than good enough.

    And do I want one? Hmmm... (see title).

  17. Annihilator Silver badge

    Still FaceID..

    I'd have hope the masked society problem would have prompted them to incorporate Touch ID back into the iPhone range (on the power button say, like they've done with the iPad). Face ID was already a convoluted process (compared to Touch ID) with Apple Pay as it was.

    1. thondwe

      Re: Still FaceID..

      I'm kinda wedded to touch ID for Apple Pay in shops - "just works" - and since we need contactless and face ID means dropping the mask, you're back to a PIN? Plus the various complaints I see about use at night, in bed, etc.

      Also magnets - have they tested it in a bag full of stuff (Hand bags/Kids Rucksacks/Man Bags)...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hand bags/Kids Rucksacks/Man Bags

        If you rock an iPhone, the only other thing you need to carry is your sense of justifiable superiority.

      2. Annihilator Silver badge

        Re: Still FaceID..

        Indeed - process for Touch ID: Hold finger over button, hold phone over card reader - reader activates Apple Pay and scans finger print.. Is like holding a normal contactless card. Practically a one-step process.

        Process for Face ID: Double click power button, hold phone up to face (possibly lower mask), hold phone over card reader. A 3-step process plus now the need to lower your face mask. Brilliant.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lots of external hard disks/bank card magnetic strips will get wiped by the magnet in the iPhone 12.

    The last thing techies want is a phone that has a powerful magnet in the back, because they're forever putting the phone down on a bench next to spinning hard disks, external storage drives, on top of rack mount devices or microservers. How many techies use their phones to take apart laptops/PCs etc, take telephoto shots of product numbers on integrated circuits?

    Apple really should have just produced an iPhone case with a magnet, not the iPhone itself, or at least have a model of iPhone 12, that doesn't have the magnet in the back. How hard is it to plug in a lightning cable, I really don't get the obsession with slower wireless charging, not least because it's so wasteful in terms of transferring energy.

    It's almost like Apple are going out of the way to destroy bank cards, so people switch to ApplePay and external storage drives, so they use to iCloud backup. There are going to be a lot of people, suddenly finding their WD/Seagate external storage drive has been wiped after leaving their new iPhone 12 on top of it.

    Remember, don't carry your new iPhone 12 against the underside of an older laptop, don't set your iPhone down on an external storage device, microserver.

    Outdoors, take care too, not to put in a rucksack with a conventional compass if out walking.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lots of external hard disks/bank card magnetic strips will get wiped

      "It's almost like Apple are going out of the way to destroy bank cards"

      When did you last use the magstripe on the back of your bank card? Every use case I've had is either chip and pin, or contactless.

      I'd also be surprised if it was a particularly strong magnet, in fact every change it's an electromagnet that's powered when the phone detects a charger, given magnets in the actual phone will play havoc with the phone's own magnetometer and wireless gubbins.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lots of external hard disks/bank card magnetic strips will get wiped

        From the images, it's a convention magnet that acts as the guide for positioning the mount and it's strong enough to attach the phone to a car mount, so it's strong enough to wipe an external conventional hard disk.

        I would have upgraded to this if it didn't have the magnet in the back of the device and had touch ID in the power button (same as the iPad Pro).

        I'll wait till next year.

  19. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "Beyond that, it is incremental"

    More of the same from the iThingy company.... Evolutionary, not revolutionary.

  20. Efer Brick

    Lidar

    Does that mean I can walk and look at your screen, it'll warn you of bumping into street furniture and other "screen walkers"

  21. The Empress

    Sorry but my XR with iOS 14.0.1 is about as 'feature rich' as I can stand. WTF is that pulsating blob that pops up when I push and hold the power button?

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      Siri, minus the taking over of the whole screen

  22. RobThBay

    The next one...

    Will the next one actually be called iPhone 13?

  23. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    White than white

    "Most of the value of that will be in slightly better photos, thanks to improved cameras and more processing power, with Apple claiming low-light photos should be significantly better."

    It's really just like the old washing powder adverts isn't it. So they tried to sell us last year on how great their low light photos were and now they're telling us that their low light photos last year were actually pretty crappy. Remember the advertising that showed low light photos that looked like they were shot is daylight? So how can the new phone take "significantly better" photos than that? Sure those previous adverts weren't misleading were they? Or to put it another way surely the adverts weren't fake?

    Well of course like Boris Johnson Apple have a long history of lying in their advertising and press releases. And just like Boris Johnson the faithful will forgive them every time.

  24. Tempest
    WTF?

    Apple Building Expensive Burner Handsets that can't be Repaired and they Eat Your Data

    Apple products are increasingly unserviceable as not even their authorised dealers can get spares.

    After market repair magicians like Louis of www.rossmanngroup.com (NYC) has difficulty in locating spares especially now Apple is using their own private label chips. Plus Apple glues their stuff together, although the techs in ShangHai use gas to dissolve the glue.

    Apple products are fast becoming burner phones AND YOU CAN'T RECOVER YOUR DATA!

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Apple Building Expensive Burner Handsets that can't be Repaired and they Eat Your Data

      "Apple products are fast becoming burner phones AND YOU CAN'T RECOVER YOUR DATA!"

      Strange. Once in a while I get a new phone, or the wife gets a new phone, I activate it, enter my WiFi password, and some time later I have an exact copy of the old phone.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Apple Building Expensive Burner Handsets that can't be Repaired and they Eat Your Data

      There's this thing called "backup" which you should look into if you have problems with having your data eaten.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Apple Building Expensive Burner Handsets that can't be Repaired and they Eat Your Data

        Yep. Backups also safeguard your data if your phone is lost, stolen, dropped in a volcano etc

  25. David 132 Silver badge
    Happy

    Thanks for the headline, now I have an ear-worm

    It's that time of year

    "...now that Spring is in the air,

    When those two wet gits with their girly curly hair

    Make another song for Moronic Holidays

    That nauseates-ates-ates

    In a million different ways..."

    If you too now have this stuck in your head... you're welcome.

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