The Apple event has begun with company CEO Tim Cook announcing the new HomePod mini first. This is a more affordable version of the HomePod smart speaker, which is powered by Siri. The HomePod mini is a lot smaller than the HomePod, as the name suggests. Apple then announced iPhone 12 series, which began with an announcement that Apple is bringing 5G to its phones for the first time. The iPhone 12 series will ship with OLED displays. The iPhone 12 series has Apple’s A14 Bionic SoC, which Apple says enables “console-quality gaming”. Apple also announced that League of Legends: Wild Rift is coming to iPhone later this year. This is an immensely popular PC game with a big eSports community. The iPhone 12 will feature MagSafe wireless charging technology that supports up to 15W wireless charging.
The HomePod mini has the S5 processor designed by Apple. The company says HomePod mini has computational audio technology to optimise the sound for your room. The company spent a lot of time touting the sound quality of this device, which will be interesting to test. When you place two HomePod mini devices in the same room, they’ll “intelligently become a stereo pair”, Apple said. Later this year Apple says the iPhone’s U1 ultra wideband chip will interact with the HomePod mini to provide haptic feedback and seamless audio handoff. HomePod mini supports Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and third-party services such as iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Amazon Music.
Siri is a big part of the HomePod experience, and with the HomePod mini, Apple is claiming that Siri is better than before. Using Siri HomePod mini can give you a quick summary of your day, if you ask it to give you an update. Siri can also recognise voices of other members of your household, according to Apple. This device also has lots of smart home features, which depend on you having accessories that support Apple’s HomeKit. Another interesting feature of the HomePod mini is intercom that lets you create a quick home intercom system to play messages in HomePod mini devices across your home.
HomePod mini is priced at $99 in the US and will be available starting November 6. HomePod mini will be launching in India, Apple has announced. HomePod mini price in India is Rs. 9,900.
iPhone 12 series price
Apple has launched four iPhone 12 models — iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. iPhone 12 mini price is $699 (roughly Rs. 51,200) for the 64GB base variant, whereas the iPhone 12 64GB is priced at $799 (roughly Rs. 58,600). iPhone 12 price in India starts at Rs. 79,900. iPhone 12 mini price in India starts at Rs. 69,900.
iPhone 12 Pro ships with a 128GB base variant at a starting price of $999 (roughly Rs. 73,000) and the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099 (roughly Rs. 80,600) with 128GB storage on the base variant. iPhone 12 Pro price in India starts at Rs. 1,19,000 and iPhone 12 Pro Max price in India starts at Rs. 1,29,000.
iPhone 12 specifications
iPhone 12 ships with an OLED display, and has more durable Ceramic Shield glass technology, Apple said. The iPhone 12 series supports 5G and in the US it supports mmWave 5G too. All smartphones will ship with iOS 14 out of the box, along with the A14 Bionic SoC, which we’ve already seen in the new iPad Air. The A14 Bionic is a six-core processor with a four-core GPU. Apple says its CPU and GPU are both fastest among all smartphones.
The iPhone 12 has two 12-megapixel wide-angle sensors, with Apple claiming that the detail will be much better in low light photos. Apple also spent some time touting its night mode, which now works on all cameras of iPhone 12, including the front camera. As for video recording, the iPhone 12 gets night mode time-lapse which allows you to shoot excellent low-light videos, according to Apple.
Apple also introduced the new MagSafe wireless charging standard for iPhone. This standard supports up to 15W wireless charging. MagSafe accessories can snap on to the back of iPhones for better alignment of the charger. Apple is also launching a series of MagSafe accessories to improve the wireless charging experience, with one of these that lets you charge both your iPhone and Apple Watch using the same charger.
Apple has announced that it will be removing headphones and charging adapters from iPhone boxes, in a bid to be more eco-friendly.
iPhone 12 mini specifications
The iPhone 12 mini has a 5.4-inch display, the same Super Retina XDR display, A14 Bionic SoC, 5G support, the same design, and the same cameras too. Apple says the only major difference between the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 is the size. It is smaller and lighter than 4.7-inch iPhones such as the iPhone 7, while giving you a bigger and better display.
iPhone 12 Pro specifications
The iPhone 12 Pro features a 6.1-inch display and the iPhone 12 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch display. The form factor of both devices is nearly identical to the predecessors according to Apple. This time around, Apple has improved the cameras a lot on the iPhone 12 Pro series. Apple’s Deep Fusion machine learning technology on all cameras. The triple rear camera setup on the iPhone 12 Pro features two wide-angle sensors and a telephoto sensor.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a better camera set with a telephoto camera that has a 65mm focal length that allows you 2.5x optical zoom and a zoom range of 5x. There’s an improved ultra-wide-angle camera as well. New image sensors allow for improvement in low-light photography and video stabilisation. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be getting support for RAW format images, via a format called Apple Pro RAW, which Apple says will be supported on popular image editing apps too. With the iPhone 12 Pro series, you get support for HDR video recording and even Dolby Vision HDR.
The iPhone 12 Pro series ships with a LiDAR sensor. It allows you to have much faster AR experiences, and improved depth perception. It allows iPhone 12 Pro to avoid focus hunting when recording videos and shooting photos in low light. The iPhone 12 Pro series, goes without saying, has 5G support.
Are Apple Watch SE, iPad 8th Gen the Perfect ‘Affordable’ Products for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.