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Wednesday, 07 October 2020 10:05

SPEED: Apple announces iPhone 12 launch date, Oct 13 in US, Oct 14 in OZ Featured

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As was leaked on Twitter, Apple's iPhone 12 models are being launched on October 13, at 10am PDT at the Apple Park Campus, which is 4am AEDT October 14 in Australia - with four iPhone 12 models expected.

The long wait for 2020's new 5G-equipped is one step closer to being over, but just because Apple's announcement is on next week - which you'll be able to watch here at Apple, and at its YouTube page here - doesn't mean that new iPhones will flow immediately.

Normally there is a wait of at least a week or two to allow for pre-orders and more shipments to arrive in stores across the world where iPhones get released first.

Australia is one of those countries, and it is incredible to think just how many more tens of millions of iPhones have been shipped to ever more countries for the actual launch day year after year as iPhone demand has grown, seemingly exponentially.

Then there are a raft of countries that will get new iPhones in the weeks thereafter, along with ongoing supplies, which requires even more logistical magic.

Of course, all of this is exacerbated by the year 2020 has been, with international shipping still much slower than it has been in the past, although if there's anyone that can get ultra-premium, beyond first-class white gloved treatment, it's going to be Apple and the stunningly incredible volumes it ships. 

Longstanding rumours suggest there will be four new iPhones - an iPhone 12 mini, an iPhone 12, an iPhone 12 Pro and an iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Of course, rumours are just rumours until the new phones are announced on stage at Apple Park, in what will presumably be another very professionally produced presentation, which may well already be filmed and is just waiting for the launch timeframe to roll around.

There's also uncertainty over when these new iPhones will arrive, with the iPhone 12 Pro Max rumoured to be the most delayed and not arriving until sometime in November, with the other models arriving first - something we saw with the iPhone 8 models arriving before the then brand new iPhone X, for example.

One thing that we know is coming, but it has already launched with the iPad Air 2020, is the super speedy next-gen A14 Bionic processor. Leaked benchmarks say it's definitely faster than last year's A13, which is only to be expected, and should handily and dramatically outclass Qualcomm and Samsung's ARM processors - as per usual!

Apple has previously announced that it will also launch an Apple Silicon-powered MacBook this year, but whether this event will also see that MacBook launch is yet to be seen - there's still plenty of time left in 2020 for Apple to launch that later and have it still arrive in the 2020 timeframe.

That MacBook would in theory be running an even more powerful A14 processor, and with the Mac mini style devices with an A12Z processor in them as unveiled at the 2020 WWDC offering what already looked like incredible performance, the A14 will stand on its shoulders to challenge Intel, AMD and all competitors as never before.

But what about more iPhone 12 expectations - and a couple of rumours I didn't hear but still hope we might be surprised by?

Well, at least some of the iPhone 12 models are expected to have the LIDAR sensor for improved augmented reality, as seen on the A12Z equipped 2020 iPad Pros, but one thing no-one has offered rumours about is whether the new iPhones will work with either of the existing Pencils, or a new smaller iPhone-sized model.

Now that iPadOS 14 can let you write with the applicable Apple Pencil 1 or 2 for that model of iPad, there's no reason why iOS couldn't also offer the exact same feature.

We just need an iPhone with the correct type of screen to be able to accept Apple Pencil input.

Now that the iPhone 12 models are expected to have the same flat edges that we saw with the iPhone 4 and 5 series, and as you see on the 2020 iPad Air and the last couple of iPad Pro versions, an Apple Pencil that could theoretically magnetically clip onto the side of an iPhone, but given iPhones have buttons on both sides, that would seem really impractical and improbable that any iPhone Pencil would attach or charge that way.

There's also the question over whether a Touch ID fingerprint sensor could return to the Face ID equipped iPhone 12 models, now that a Touch ID fingerprint sensor is built into the 2020 iPad Air's power button.

There's even a question mark over whether all four iPhone 12 models will be equipped with 5G chipsets, given the additional expense and power requirements of 5G chipsets.

Also in contention is whether any of the iPhone 12 models will feature a screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, which also takes a lot of power.

Will there be reverse wireless charging? Cameras with better optical zoom as we've seen on Samsung, Huawei and others? A power adapter in the box? Wired headphones or included AirPods? A Lighting to USB-C cable? Will any of the iPhones have USB-C instead of Lightning?

What about an iPhone with 1TB of storage, as you can get with iPads?

At least we can be sure of one thing: you won't find Adobe Flash on any of these iPhones... and if you haven't already given up on MicroSD cards, buy an Android. Headphone sockets won't be re-appearing anytime soon either, but the age of the completely phyiscally portless iPhone is still to come down the track, if that ever does happen.  

Might there also be a "one more thing" to surprise us all?

Any Apple AR glasses have been suggested to arrive in 2022 or 2023, so any surprises on that level aren't expected.

Still, this is Apple we're talking about, and anything could happen. Hopefully we get to see another trailer for Apple's Foundation TV show based on Isaac Asimov's most famous sci-fi novels.

However, until Apple announces it officially on stage, nothing is certain - or at least, nothing is certain outside of Apple's inner circle, select video editors and camera operations who get to see it all happen as they film and edit it, and various people in the supply chain who are presumably sworn to secrecy on penalty of never making an Apple product again.

So, next week can't come soon enough, when the rumours stop being rumours and become reality at long last, set to augment our lives in virtual and physical ways as every iPhone has before it.

New iPhone 12's - finally, some good news in 2020 is set to come!

I'm sure you won't be at this page to watch next week, but here's the embedded Apple Event video at YouTube anyway:

 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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