What to Expect from Apple’s iPhone 12 Event

What to Expect from Apple’s iPhone 12 Event
Screenshot: Apple

Here we go again: Apple’s last event was just a month ago, but on Tuesday, the company will take the wraps off even more new devices. This time, it looks like we’ll get what everyone has been waiting for: the iPhone 12.

We knew the iPhone(s) 12 would arrive later in the year than usual — Apple confirmed as much in its July quarterly earnings call to set expectations — and after September’s event highlighted the Apple Watch and iPad, it looks like the iPhone is finally on deck.

It is entirely possible that Apple will save the iPhone for yet another rumoured launch event next month, but that may well be when we’ll see the first Mac with Apple Silicon (we’re betting on it).

But we’re not expecting just iPhones to appear on Tuesday. Here’s everything Apple is expected to announce.

iPhones 12 Finally Arrive — with 5G

Apple’s cheeky “Hi, Speed” tagline on its event invites is a clear reference to 5G and the faster speeds that the next-gen networks promise. (Whether they deliver or not is a bigger question.) It’s also a reference to the A14 Bionic processor that will almost definitely be included in this year’s iPhones.

The iPhone 12 lineup is rumoured to include not two, not three, but four new phones, which is a big deal, because one of those phones is expected to be pint-sized. No, not like this year’s iPhone SE, which sounded like it would be a small phone but was actually the size of an iPhone 8 — a regular-sized phone with a tiny screen. This 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini will look like its larger siblings, with a nearly edge-to-edge display, Face ID, and flattened design with squared-off sides (similar to the latest iPads). A super-sized 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max is also expected to join the lineup, though recent rumours suggest that model may launch in November. Then there will be two 6.1-inch iPhones 12 models: a Pro version with a stainless steel body and triple-lens camera system (and LiDAR sensor), and a cheaper iPhone 12 with an aluminium body and dual-lens cameras.

iPhone need: Do you really need a new iPhone in 2020? This year's iPhones, like last year's, will be differentiated by their cameras. (Photo: Raul Marrero/Gizmodo)

Notably, a 5.7-inch iPhone 12 similar to the current 11 Pro will no longer be available, so you’ll have go larger or downsize.

But all models are expected to include a 5G modem (though the Pros will reportedly be compatible with a wider spectrum of 5G), the flatter, iPad-like design with OLED display, and the A14 Bionic.

The new iPhones will reportedly range in price from $950+ for the mini model, all the way up to $1,600+ for the Pro Max.

AirPods, but Make Them Headphones

Apple has been content to let its subsidiary Beats dominate the headphones market, but after launching multiple successful iterations of its Bluetooth AirPods, the company is reportedly planning to launch its own over-the-ear headphones: AirPods Studio. The noise-cancelling headphones will take on rival models from Bose and Sony, and have the same seamless iPhone integration that AirPods do.

Apple recently booted third-party headphones from its online and physical stores, so it seems guaranteed that a pair of Apple-branded headphones are on the way.

A Smaller, Cheaper HomePod

Rumours of a pint-sized HomePod speaker have been churning ahead of next week’s event, and it seems all but certain that Apple will reboot its smart speaker lineup with a $140 version called the HomePod Mini.

Photo: Adam Clark Estes/Gizmodo Photo: Adam Clark Estes/Gizmodo

The new HomePod is expected to be a third of the size of the current model, so it makes sense that its price would also be a third of its $469predecessor. But given that you can pick up a Nest mini with Google Assistant and an Echo mini with Alexa for $79, and Siri still struggles with even basic tasks, it’s unclear how Apple will differentiate its latest speaker.

AirPower, Round Two

A new report indicates that Apple is possibly planning to release magnetic charging docks alongside the iPhone 12: one that can charge a single device, and another that can charge two devices. The company is apparently ditching the cursed AirPower moniker, however, and reportedly going with MagSafe Charger for the single-device pad and MagSafe Duo for the dual-device charger.

One More Thing? (Probably Not)

We’re still expecting Apple to show off a new MacBook with its homegrown Apple Silicon ARM-based processor inside, but don’t expect to see that at next week’s event. According to Bloomberg, Apple has another event lined up for November dedicated to the Mac.

Apple will be live-streaming Wednesday’s event, which kicks off at 4:00 a.m. AEDT on its website. We’ll also be live-blogging the whole thing, so join us!