Look through this blog and you’ll find evidence of my love/hate relationship with iPhones. I’ve been telling you Apple’s lost their way ever since they came up with the 5C. Needless to say, this hasn’t stopped them from selling roughly a kajillion iPhones. Even though I was, well, extremely underimpressed with the iPhone 11, Apple sold a ton of them.
Welcome the iPhone 12
Apple may be slow to learn from their mistakes, but learn they do. The current crop of iPhones has something for everyone. Do your job while wearing a mask? Choose the iPhone SE (2020) for a phone with Touch ID. Want great performance in a phone the size of an iPhone 4? The iPhone 12 mini is for you. Moving up from there, they get bigger and bigger until you get to the iPhone 12 Pro Max which clocks in at just slightly smaller than an iPad mini.
There’s a tiered cost structure, too. Even without special offers — which are already popping up — you can get a new iPhone for $399. Keep in mind that adjusted for inflation that’s less than you would have paid for an original 2G iPhone in 2007. Pile on the features and storage, and you could pay $1,399 if you wanted to. Something for everyone. It’s about time, Apple.
A design change that actually looks like a design change
The biggest criticism of the last two generations of iPhones was that unless you could see the camera, they all looked identical. Finally, we have a design change that looks like a design change.
The new phones bring back the slab-sided edges of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, and also of the current generation iPad Pro. I personally always liked this look. To me it looks very “premium.” I understand that there are those who thought the rounded edges of the iPhone 6 through the current model felt better. Personally I don’t see a change in feel since my phone is in a case.
More importantly, the new design enables the phones to be overall thinner and lighter, with slight reductions in already-small bevels. I’m all for that. iPhone 11 was a step in the wrong direction, as it got quite a bit heavier than the iPhone X which was heavier than iPhone 7. I don’t think we’ll get back to super-light phones any time soon but at least we’re paying attention to weight again.
Some changes that actually make a difference, some that don’t
Apple is quick to point out that the glass is tougher, the whole thing is more drop resistant, the cameras are better, etc. They say this with every generation. I would be more impressed if they got up there and said, “hey, we made the camera and the glass so good this time, no reason to change it.” There’s also a processor that’s blah blah blah faster, and other incremental improvements that are blah blah blah better. And, you can get it in a total of 6 colors, although not every color is available on every model.
There’s now a magnet built into the thing so it aligns with wireless chargers. No word on whether that’s going to kill credit cards if you have a wallet-style case.
Here’s what people really care about.
iPhone 12 supports 5G. Pretty much all 5G. And that’s huge. Or at least it will be when we all start going outside again. The displays are now all OLED which means brighter, and pixel density has doubled which means sharper.
This phone, more than any phone before it, is a complete solution for your life inside or outside the house. It’s going to be fast, bright, capable, have decent battery life, and download stuff faster than you can imagine. And that’s good news.
Shut up and take my money
So yes, I will be upgrading to this phone. Or one of them, anyway. I’m not sure which model makes sense for me yet. I think Apple mostly got it right this time and they’ve earned my dollars. I won’t even grit my teeth like I normally do. After several years of nothing, they finally created a change worth paying attention to.
But just one more thing…
I know a lot of people are saying Apple missed the boat by not “also” putting a Touch ID sensor in the power button. That’s a feature in the latest iPad Pro and it makes sense in a world where half your face is covered whenever you go out. I’m inclined to give Apple a pass here. Often times these designs are finalized a year in advance and in 2019 no one saw this year coming.
I wouldn’t be surprised, though, to see it in the iPhone 13. I’m just not going to wait.