“iPhone 12 mini hits the magic $US699 price point,” longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster wrote on Twitter. “That’s a big deal and slightly expands iPhone’s addressable market. This is the first time in seven years (since the iPhone 5S) that smaller form factor is part of flagship lineup.”
In Australia, the iPhone 12 will go for $1349 for a model with 64GB of storage, while the Mini will start at $1199.
There’s also an iPhone 12 Pro, and an iPhone 12 Pro Max, both with stainless steel edges. The Max has a 6.7-inch screen, Apple’s largest ever, while the regular Pro has a 6.1-inch display. They come in blue, gold, graphite or silver. In Australia, the Pro will start at $1699 for a model with 128GB of storage, while the Pro Max will start at $1849.
With our estimation that 350 million of 950 million iPhones worldwide are currently in the window of an upgrade opportunity, we believe this will translate into an unprecedented upgrade cycle for Apple,
Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives
The front of the phones look similar to last year’s iPhone 11, but the edges are now flat instead of curved. They all support 5G, a new wireless standard that can transmit data as much as 10 times faster than the current 4G LTE technology.
The handsets have a faster A14 processor and updated cameras, and use sharper OLED screens, an improvement from cheaper LCD screens used in earlier models, Apple said. The company showcased major improvements to the iPhone 12 Pro Max cameras, including high dynamic range video recording and larger sensors for improved low-light photography.
The technology giant has generated relatively little sales growth from its marquee product in recent years as consumers hold onto their phones for longer. Quarterly revenue from this segment peaked in the first quarter of Apple’s 2018 fiscal year.
Apple shares closed 0.3 per cent higher on Wednesday. It started the week with a 6 per cent gain ahead of the release.
“With our estimation that 350 million of 950 million iPhones worldwide are currently in the window of an upgrade opportunity, we believe this will translate into an unprecedented upgrade cycle for Apple,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said.
5G support makes the phones theoretically capable of downloading data much faster, although that will mostly depend on wireless carriers updating their networks. Apple’s 5G launch comes over a year after Samsung and other rivals started selling handsets supporting the standard.
In the first quarter of this year, phone makers led by Samsung shipped 3.4 million 5G phones in the US, a fraction of the overall market, Strategy Analytics data show. In a few other countries, 5G has performed far better. A third of phone sales in China during the second quarter were 5G handsets, according to Counterpoint Research.
The handsets also support a new version of wireless power and accessory connectivity called MagSafe. This lets the phones attach magnetically to new charging pads from Apple and other providers. Apple will also offer several new cases to support the new charging system.
Apple didn’t include headphones or a charging adapter with the new iPhones, a move it said would be beneficial to the environment. Citi’s Suva said excluding the accessories in the box could spur purchases of AirPods and new charging accessories.