/Apple iPhone 12: Yet again, ‘The Best iPhones Ever’

Apple iPhone 12: Yet again, ‘The Best iPhones Ever’

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If Being Repetitive is ‘Best’ then rework the ‘Repetition’

Apple has undone Apple by undoing itself. Probably the best-performing technology brand has forgotten the word ‘innovation’, it seems. This is not just a mere quote but, a reflection of what it had done with its latest launches. For the record, Apple has unveiled the 12th generation of its renowned iPhones by launching four smartphones at once. These go by the name of iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. But, what Apple has done with these launches is that the very basic of its last launched smartphones, iPhone 11 series, these newly introduced phones look, reflect and feel the same, not just from the outset but, from the inside as well. The only addition to them is the introduction of 5G to iPhones 12 series, and a new chipset. But, this is not something very exciting news for iPhone users here in India because we still do not have the networks available to support the 5G features, so this is out of equation at the moment. So can we expect that the ‘Best iPhones Ever’ make sense for the spectators in India? If these are called the ‘bests’ then buyers need to think before an upgrade.

Apple’s Defense

“This is a huge leap for iPhone, bringing the best 5G experience in the market and delivering our most advanced technologies to users who want the absolute most from their iPhone,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing while launching the phones.

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The Best iPhones ever feature the powerful A14 Bionic, new design with Ceramic Shield, pro camera system, LiDAR Scanner, and the biggest Super Retina XDR display ever on an iPhone, as per Apple.

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“Each generation of iPhone has changed what we expect from a smartphone, and now with 5G, iPhone 12 Pro provides a new generation of performance. Our tight integration of hardware and software enables incredible computational photography features like the expansion of Night mode to more cameras, and introduces support for HDR video with Dolby Vision. A state-of-the-art LiDAR Scanner means users can experience AR like never before, and also offers benefits to the camera with faster autofocus in low light and the introduction of Night mode portraits. These experiences and so much more make this the best iPhone lineup ever,” added Joswiak.

Analysts Analysis

“The product as expected in any iPhone launch has some incremental value in terms of offering new features to the users. However, having 4 variants of the same model is confusing and does not go with the minimalist proposition that Apple is known for,” said Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst at techARC.

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It echoes that most of the analysts in town seem to disagree with the Apple launching four new smartphones but offering literally nothing when compared to its previous launch of iPhone 11. If we breakdown the launches in terms of specifications, iPhone 12 series has same sets of cameras, similar design and battery when they are  compared with iPhone 11 launches last year. The only difference it makes is on the chipset, the iPhone 12 series comes with 5nm A14 Bionic chip whereas the last series was supported by A13. There are talks about adding LiDAR in iPhone 12 series but, it won’t make any difference to the pupil out there. The only advantage I see here is some more enhanced features on the AR front by creating laser generated 3D images, virtually. Meanwhile, Apple carries the same triangular tri-camera setup in iPhone 12 Pro and Max model, whereas, the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 sport dual lenses on the back.

In display, Apple has moved to OLED now when the world of tech has evolved to sAMOLED and AMOLED displays, and yes, they have added some ceramic coating to make it tough as well as the addition of Corning protection on the back. Do not ask Apple of the refresh rates either, enjoy what’s being served to you on platter.

Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager at IDC India, says, “With launch of 4 new models in 12 series, along with SE (launched earlier this year), and previous generation and XR and 11 they are expected to boost iOS installed base in India, across all price points. In IDC opinion, iPhone 11 and XR are expected to garner more volumes in comparison to iPhone 12, 12 pro and mini in coming months.”

Upgrade

“It would take a lot of convincing to buy iPhone 12 for someone who is already on Apple. It’s not something that makes upgrade default,” added Faisal.
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If you are an iPhone 11 user already, do not go for it, unless you’re obsessed with iPhones, the way Shah Rukh Khan was with KKKiran in Darr. And for Android users, first of all it will cost them heavily (remember Kidney jokes and memes) on every Apple launch. Plus, you have to buy a charger or a wireless pad separately to be able to flaunt your brand new iPhone. You are going to spend at least Rs 70,000 on the iPhone 12 mini considering all the cashbacks and credit card offers yet you have to purchase a charger or a MagSafe pad, even though Belkin pads are compatible with iPhones.

iphone camera

Upasana feels, “The new enhanced chipset, 5G devices across 12 series and camera features is expected to create more traction in the super premium segment. However, consumers will still wait for more discounts and offers bundled with the new devices to make upgrades. 5G alone is not a compelling feature for consumers to upgrade owing to unavailability of network and might defer upgrades to next year. Also, the starting price of iPhone 12 Mini could have been lower to gain eyeballs.”

Charger, oops! Carbon

Upasana concludes, “Removing charger and earphone in a price conscious market like India, might see some resentment in the initial days. However consumers might later want to opt for MagSafe and prices of chargers are also expected to come down.”

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It seems Apple is quite impressed with Greta Thunberg so much so that it has decided to remove chargers and earphones from the iPhone 12 series boxes. The aim is to cut the carbon footprint and be a zero carbon emitting company by 2030. You may call it a courageous move but that will work only in US and European markets and not a very positive signal for developing nations like India which has a huge population aspiring to get hands on an iPhone. This move might act as a deterrent for the potential buyers in future.

“Again it’s not a thought which will work for every market. For markets like India, expecting that that charger would be in good shape and we can just use it for the new phone is not good thinking. The charger is at times worn out even more than the phone itself. Here users will take it cost cutting and less for more,” mentioned Faisal.

Apple argues that removing the accessories from the box will make the box smaller hence it will increase the shipping capacity by 70 per cent. With this bold cum suicidal mode, Apple assumes that it would be like removing 450,000 cars from the roads per year. It is like cutting over 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually. Perhaps, the chargers and the earphones will also be gone from iPhone 11 series, XR and iPhone SE.

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OEM s have shifted their focus on providing a high capacity charger inside the boxes to shorten the duration of charging yet this bold move by Apple has surprised many. The idea behind this very much appreciated but, at the end of the day we have buy a charger from somewhere if not Apple. There are ancillary units who make chargers for iPhones and so they will continue it making, the problem is that it will not be shipped inside the box but, has to buy it separately. It will further increase the cost to the consumers.

Conclusion

Apple has a fan-base across continents because of its closely-knit ecosystem which is much more secure and reliable as compared to Android. Each generation of iPhones have its own admirers and it will never ever stop whether the trillion dollar company takes out chargers, earphones, cables or even the battery. The price sensitive market like India measures each and every move and especially if the user is already on Android platform these ‘bold’ moves could hamper the expansion if so is the intention. The iOS users would definitely love to try these new ‘innovations’ from the house of Apple as how differently do they taste now. Do not yet count on the 5G for the Indian market because it will still take some time to reach. Meanwhile, Apple could think of removing the wide notch, adding a curved display in iPhone 13 for that matter, and the most importantly improving the battery life on which it continues to be miser and discreet. For a market like India, Apple needs to open its arms, democratise its ecosystem to invite and add a much larger fan-base in entire world because we would love to own an Apple.

Haider is an avid writer on technology who loves to try new innovations. He holds a degree in English Journalism from the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi. Besides that, he likes to travel and explore new places.

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