November 25, 2020

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Future Technology

iPhone 12 5G, HomePod Mini launch today: How to watch Apple’s Event now

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Another year, another iPhone. (Did I say that last year?) This is the iPhone’s last year of tweendom before it hits teenhood: Apple announced its iPhone 12 today, the first major revamp of the iPhone’s design since 2017’s iPhone X which introduced face unlocking and better screen technology. This year they sport an array of colors, more models and 5G wireless support across the lineup. In addition to the HomePod Mini, we also may see a wireless charging pad and AirPods Studio. Join our YouTube watch party, going on right now, or stream it on Apple’s site

We don’t anticipate news about the new Apple Silicon-based systems today. It’s already rumored that Apple will have yet another streamed event in November to unveil a laptop based on its new proprietary CPU chips;  typically, Apple announces its new systems in October. And the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch SE, a redesigned iPad Air debuting the A14 Bionic chip and a new eighth-gen iPad were shown off during a stream in September. Of course, like clockwork, the Apple Store was taken down for updates prior to the announcements. 

Apple’s late to the 5G party (if you can call it “late” when the party’s just started), and incorporating the new wireless tech poses potential problems for Apple but could still be a big win for the company and carriers. And experts are already worrying about the new design’s affect on repairability given that Apple already ranks pretty low on that score.

A Verizon rep came out to talk about the iPhone on its 5G Ultra Wideband network and its expansion plans, including turning on its nationwide 5G network. The iPhone has custom antenna design and according to Apple, a boatload of testing. All models support mmWave 5G, at least in the US.

Apple updated its wireless charging with MagSafe for iPhone, a new charging coil design with a magnet that allows any compatible accessory — such as cases and other docks — to snap onto the back.

iPhone 12

James Martin/CNET

Thinner, smaller and lighter, the iPhone 12 incorporates the new OLED Super Retina XDR display, boasting 460 ppi pixel density and Dolby Vision HDR support. It has a new Ceramic Shield protection layer on the screen as well. It uses the A14 Bionic, the same chip that’s in the new iPad Air with improved AI processing. It’s got a new camera, of course, a dual setup with an f2.4 ultrawide camera and f1.6 wide, Night Mode available on all cameras and night time lapse.

iPhone 12 come with redesign, 5G for the first time, facing off against Android devices

HomePod Mini

Available Nov. 15 for $99

Screenshot by CNET

Apple’s tinier smart speaker looks like a restaurant table candle. The new Mini has a completely redesigned audio architecture and uses “computational audio” to automatically adjust sound characteristics. It can autopair with your iPhone when it comes into proximity, and of course has deep integration with Siri.

Apple debuts HomePod Mini smart speaker

This is a developing story. The original follows. 


Ah, October. Leaves are turning brown, air is getting chillier, pumpkins are getting spicier and now Apple Stores are dropping from the internet. It can only mean one thing: Apple’s new iPhone is coming Tuesday. That’s right, the company’s next-generation phone, likely called the iPhone 12, is expected to be announced in an online-only event at 10 a.m. PT Tuesday. 

CNET’s live pre-event coverage begins at 9:30 a.m. PT. Watch it above. And you can follow along our live coverage tweets below.

We’re expecting to see a new boxier iPad Pro-inspired look, faster processing chips and 5G wireless technology. Here’s what we’ve heard so far about the iPhone 12’s price and release date, and a few features on our iPhone 12 wish list that Apple should steal from Samsung.

The new iPhone is the smartphone that Apple fans and industry watchers alike have been waiting awhile to see. It’s the first major revamp of the iPhone’s design since 2017, when Apple introduced its $1,000 iPhone X, with its new face unlocking design and better screen technology. One survey from Decluttr, a device recycler and reseller, found that a “staggering” 53% of respondents plan to buy this year’s iPhone, touching off what analysts call a “supercycle” of phone upgrades.

Read more: Will iPhone 12 have Touch ID so we can unlock our phones with masks on? Probably not

“We believe iPhone 12 represents the most significant product cycle for Cook & Co. since iPhone 6 in 2014 and will be another defining chapter in the Apple growth story looking ahead despite a softer consumer spending environment,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in an Oct. 6 note to investors. He called this launch a “once in a decade” event for Apple.

All told, Apple’s event promises to be interesting. It’s the third such big product announcements Apple has made during the coronavirus pandemic.

Apple’s event will overlap with Amazon’s annual Prime Day sales event, which is happening Tuesday and Wednesday. Amazon typically holds its annual sale during the summer. But like with everything else, the coronavirus disrupted those plans.

While the iPhone will be a key product we see at Apple’s event this year, and likely what most people focus their attention on, the company’s expected to have other devices to show off. Those include new Apple-branded over-ear headphones called the AirPods Studio, potential updates for the $299 HomePod speaker, a potential “iPhone Mini” that sits somewhere the $399 iPhone SE and $699 iPhone 11 and, potentially, even Apple’s long-rumored AirTags beacons to find your lost keys, among other things.

Apple’s online-only event follows the company’s last announcements in September for its newest iPads, Apple Watches and Apple One subscription service.

When is the Apple event?

Apple’s online-only event will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

What time does the Apple event start?

 The livestream begins at 10 a.m. PT, which is 1 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. BST and 4 a.m. AEDT on Oct. 14 (sorry, Australia).

Where can I watch Apple’s livestream?

You’ll be able to stream the event straight from Apple’s website. Or you can watch CNET’s live watch party at the top of this article, starting at 9:30 a.m. PT.

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