Top 5 takeaways from Apple's iPhone launch event

Reuters

Posted at Oct 14 2020 10:01 AM

Apple CEO Tim Cook poses with the all-new iPhone 12 Pro at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, U.S. in a photo released October 13, 2020. Brooks Kraft/Apple Inc./Handout via Reuters

Apple Inc on Tuesday announced four new iPhones that can tap 5G wireless data networks and a cheaper smart speaker that will compete with offerings from market leaders Amazon and Google.

In a bid to line up new hardware for the upcoming holiday season, Apple last month launched new smart watch models with blood oxygen sensors and updated its iPad range.

The Cupertino, California-based company's Tuesday launch included smartphones ranging from $699 to $1,399 with new designs and 5G technology.

Here are five key announcements from the event:

5G IN ALL THINGS 

Apple said all four new iPhone models in the United States will support millimeter wave 5G, the fastest variant of the technology, as well as lower-frequency bands. Some rival Android devices support only the lower-frequency versions of 5G.

Nearly all of Apple's rivals, including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, have 5G models on store shelves already. The iPhone maker's announcement is likely to bring fresh attention to the technology, even if U.S. carriers are still years away from rolling out the fastest versions.

Apple's vice president of iPhone Product Marketing Kaiann Drance unveils the all-new iPhone 12 at a special event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, US in a still image from video released October 13, 2020. Apple Inc./Handout via REUTERS

THE SMALLER PHONE 

Apple's newest base model, the iPhone 12 mini, sports a 5.4 inch (13.72 cm) full screen display, with a dual camera setup and is priced at $699. The device can be pre-ordered from Nov. 6 and shipping will begin a week later. (https://apple.co/3iVIvNR)

IPHONE 12 

The iPhone 12 has a 6.1 inch display and starts at $799. Customers in more than 30 countries will be able to pre-order the phone on Oct. 16 and it will be shipped from Oct. 23.

ONE FOR THE PROS 

The "Pro" iPhones come in two variants, Pro and Pro Max, with a price tag starting at $999 and three cameras each. The iPhone 12 Pro Max sports the company's largest ever display of 6.7 inches. Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Pro begin Oct. 16 and it goes on sale on Oct. 23. 

HOMEPOD MINI 

Apple launched the HomePod mini, a smaller smart speaker priced at $99, still nearly two times more expensive than the starting offerings from rivals Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google which dominate the space. In comparison, Amazon's third generation Echo Dot was selling for $18.99, down from its list price of $49.99 on Prime Day.