Apple unveils 5G-enabled iPhone 12

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Apple is a month late in revealing its latest iPhones due to production issues, but the new iPhone 12 is sure to make some consumers itchy to upgrade.

In a virtual online event recorded at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, CEO Tim Cook made an anticipated and long-awaited announcement.

"Today is the beginning of a new era for iPhone. Today we're bringing 5G to iPhone."

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Each of its iPhone 12 models, ranging in price from $700 to $1,100, will have 5G capability, offering super fast uploads and downloads. A chip inside will enhance graphics in games.

Outside, something called ceramic shield will make the display glass stronger, claiming it's four times more likely not to crack if the phone is dropped.

The 12 also went on a diet. "iPhone 12 is 11% thinner, 15% smaller and 16% lighter," said iPhone product marketing VP Kaiann Drance.

The higher end iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max will sport advanced cameras with a LiDAR scanner that sees objects and focuses in the dark. Those advanced models have additional features that match the capability of full-sized digital cameras.

"Unless you're looking for very high-end features, you're going to do just fine with a basic model," said technology analyst Larry Magid. "So why spend over $1,000 if you don't need that professional quality camera?" However, photography and video enthusiasts and professionals will likely embrace the new capabilities and put them to a test.

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While rivals already have 5G capable phones, Apple's 5G lineup could trigger consumers to upgrade.

"When Apple gets into a market with a brand new feature like 5G support, it kind of tells the mainstream market, hey, it's time to wake up and really time to start spending some time thinking about upgrading your phone," said technology analyst Mark Vena at Moor Insights.

One thing to note - not all carriers have deployed 5G everywhere.

Pre-orders for the IPhone 12 start this Friday, Oct. 16, with availability starting Oct 23. Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 mini start Friday, Nov. 6, with availability starting Friday, Nov. 13.

Apple also unveiled a new $99 Home Pod mini speaker that works seamlessly with your other Apple devices and services.
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