Today the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro go on sale (on pre-order) with a release date of October 23, 2020. There are plenty of good reasons why you might want to purchase an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro today – maybe you’ve lost or broken your phone, maybe you’ve been saving up cash for a while, maybe your parents are ready to buy you your own first phone. But take a moment, right now, and ask yourself: Do I know the difference between an iPhone 12 and an iPhone 11, Xr, or SE (2nd Generation) device? Might it be better to buy something slightly less expensive?
For the vast majority of users, the differences between iPhones will boil down to factors like price, display size, and color. Apple’s presentation this year wasn’t exactly like it’s been in the past – this year they didn’t so much attempt to sell potential consumers on the various features in their phones, but on their phones being part of a generational divide.
The new iPhone 12 collection looks different from past iPhone devices due to flat sides, new color tones, and a slightly modified display shape. If you’re using an iPhone that was purchased brand new one or two years ago, chances are this new iPhone isn’t going to deliver an altogether different experience for you.
This is part of the draw of sticking with a single operating system, living in a single ecosystem of devices. When you keep purchasing an iPhone every few years, you can expect a consistent bit of value – and a relatively painless transition from one phone to the next.
With iPhone 12, Apple made a decision that didn’t feel particularly matched with the attitude the company’s had with new technologies over the past decade. The simplest example of this is the iPhone 4 and 4G LTE. The iPhone 4 was released first with 3G because 4G LTE wasn’t built out and available at a level Apple was comfortable claiming would be a good user experience for the majority of new iPhone users.
Now, with 5G, there’s a similar situation going on with 5G, but Apple’s taken the other route. They’ve decided to release the iPhone 12 (all versions of which have 5G with sub-6 and mmWave 5G coverage), before 5G* is available to the majority of users across the United States.
*When I say 5G, here, I mean 5G that’s considerably different from what was available with 4G LTE. Companies like T-Mobile USA have a WHOLE BUNCH of 5G coverage across the United States already, but they’re delivering sub-6 5G, not mmWave.
You might also want to consider delaying your purchase of any new iPhone for now since you’ll not be able to get a hands-on experience for quite some time to come. Even if you do live near a store location that normally has display units for testing, many stores (take the department store Target, for example), are continuing to keep demo phones locked up, thanks to COVID-19.
TO BE CLEAR: Since we’ve spoken with potential consumers about this for other, similar phones recently : There’s absolutely no reason to be afraid of any of the new technology present in the iPhone 12 (or 12 mini, Pro, or Pro Max). Nothing in the iPhone 12 is any more harmful or potentially harmful to you or anyone you know than any previous smartphone released by Apple or any other manufacturer.
I only mean to inform you to take consideration of factors like the lack of 5G connectivity in your area and a relative lack of hands-on support from 3rd-party vendors at this unfortunate time of global pandemic. Barring those bits, there’s little reason why someone who’s been waiting with money burning a hole in their pocket for this new wave of iPhone devices wouldn’t want to go ahead and take the plunge.