Apple has released 4 versions of the new iPhone 12: iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. While the launch was delayed due to COVID-19, it was also much anticipated as the iPhone 12 is Apple’s first 5G-capable iPhone. Preorders for the iPhone 12 start on 16 October 2020, 8 pm while the iPhone 12 mini preorder starts on 6 November 2020, 9 pm, in Singapore.
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With a starting price of $1149 for the entry model of iPhone 12 Mini, the new iPhone 12 is a pricey purchase, even by Apple’s standards.Here are 4 things you should consider before buying the new iPhone 12.
Note: iPhone prices quoted are from Apple Store Singapore and based in Singapore dollars
#1 5G Connectivity For iPhone 12
While the new iPhone 12 is equipped with 5G capability, 5G is still in the trial stage in Singapore, meaning that if you sign up for 5G now, coverage is not guaranteed across the entire island, and you will be connected to 4G in non-coverage areas. According to IMDA, full 5G deployment is only expected to take place by 2025.
To utilise the 5G capabilities of the new iPhone 12 (albeit partially due to the lack of full 5G deployment), you will have to purchase 5G booster packs on top of your current mobile subscriptions. These 5G booster packs start at $15 per month for 25GB and are available from network providers, such as Singtel and M1.
#2 You May Not Get Useful Newer Technology For What You Pay
Aside from the inclusion of 5G technology, there are not many significant hardware upgrades in the iPhone 12. Even though the iPhone 12 comes with a better screen, the camera is almost identical to the iPhone 11 with marginal improvements. The typical user may also not experience a large jump in performance from the new processors found in the iPhone 12.
The cost increase of $320 from the iPhone 11 from last year ($979, direct from the Apple Store) to its direct successor – the iPhone 12 ($1299) may not lead to improved performance for the everyday user.
Additionally, while many phone manufacturers have switched to USB-C, the iPhone 12 is still using the Lightning Connector, which lags behind USB-C in terms of charging speeds, data transfer speeds and compatibility. This also limits the use of accessories, even among Apple products, as the MacBooks and iPad Pros are using USB-C connectors.
#3 Goodbye Charger And Earphones, Hello Extra Cost
With the release of the iPhone 12, Apple has decided to remove the charging adapter and Lightning EarPods from the packaging to reduce environmental waste. While this is an admirable environmental goal, it does create additional costs for the consumer.
Instead, a fast-charging cable is included in the package. If you don’t have any existing power adapter, a new Apple fast-charging power adapter would cost $29.90. Likewise, you would have to pay an additional $29.90 to get the EarPods which has been included in past iPhone purchases.
That said, iPhone users will have to fork out the additional cost for these accessories in the future, as even new purchases of iPhone 11 would not include the power adapter and EarPods.
#4 Extended Support for Older iPhones
According to Apple, the latest iOS 14 is officially supported on devices dating back to the iPhone 6S. With your phone still supported on the latest iOS firmware, you will still be able to receive the latest features and security patches even on older versions of the iPhone.
Additionally, Apple is currently offering to replace the batteries at $75 for iPhone 8 and before and $99 for iPhone X and later, with the oldest eligible device being the iPhone 6S. According to reports arising from a class-action lawsuit, replacing the battery on older iPhones would prevent iPhones from slowing down, effectively lengthening the lifespan of your current iPhone.
Depending on your needs, it may be possible to extend the usage of your current iPhone, instead of upgrading to the new iPhone 12.
iPhone 12’s Strongest Feature Is Its 5G Capabilities
The iPhone 12 is a solid offering from Apple and one that is optimised for new 5G technology. Yet, its greatest strength is hampered by the lack of full 5G network coverage in Singapore, though this may change as network providers increase 5G coverage in the coming years.
Thus, any decision to purchase the iPhone 12 should be weighed against the fact that you may not enjoy the full potential of the iPhone 12, given the current state of 5G networks in Singapore.
Alternatively, if you purely want a 5G-capable mobile phone, you may also wish to consider other options, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 ($1398), Note 20 Ultra ($1698), Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro ($899) or the Huawei P40 ($1048).