With the addition of 5G and a rumored new design, the iPhone 12 is one of the most anticipated phones in years. But will it lead to a so-called “super cycle” of updates as some predict?
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told CNN that “the iPhone 12 represents the most important product cycle for (Apple CEO Tim) Cook & Co. since the iPhone 6 in 2014.” He added that Wall Street is “underestimating the massive demand closed around this super cycle for Apple”.
Ives is very strong on prospects for Apple, estimating that a total of 350 million out of 950 million iPhones could be updated within the next 12-18 months.
Other analysts say not so fast. And they downplay the importance of 5G as a driving force for iPhone updates among consumers. Plus, there is still a continuing pandemic, which has hit the economy hard.
“There are definitely a lot of consumers who declined to update last year, expecting Apple to release an iPhone 5G this year,” said Avi Greengart, chief analyst for Techsponential. “However, I do not think anyone can predict iPhone sales by 2020 with any degree of certainty. Economic interventions from the global pandemic are depressing demands.”
Then there is the issue of 5G. Yes, deployments are accelerating, but 5G will not be nationwide in the US this fall on the three major carriers. T-Mobile has the widest track so far, and AT&T and Verizon are catching up.
And while 5G is an important feature to have if you want to have a proven phone of the future, there is still no killer app for it. Simply get faster download speeds and less latency for things like streaming games.
“I think the iPhone 12 will bring about improvements,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Creative Strategies. “But if there is not much more than 5G, I doubt we will see a super-cycle. For most consumers 5G is still not a necessity.”
There are other iPhone 12 upgrades to get excited about, based on leaks. This time there should be four models, including a new 5.4-inch compact iPhone that should be the most affordable of this band. Mimi may be as low as $ 649 based on previous reports.
All four iPhone 12 models are expected to feature a new fast A14 Bionic chip that should throw away Android phones and all four should have an OLED display. IPhone 12, 5.4 inches, iPhone 12 and 6.1 inches iPhone 12 Max, it is reported that they will pack two cameras, will get iPhone 6. Pro with 6.1 inches and iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6.7 inches will get a third camera (telephoto ) plus a LiDAR sensor for better AR performance.
However, the jury is clear whether the iPhone 12 Pro phones will sport a smooth 120Hz screen. Recent rumors have thrown cold water on this possibility.
Phone buyers generally tend to take care of essential features like screen size and quality and battery life, and the Apple A14 Bionic chip could really help with the latter. An early leak that this new 5nm chip could be 30% more efficient than the A13.
But I would not expect 5G to be a major driver of shopping for the iPhone 12 coming this October.
“In most countries in the world, 5G networks are still in the early stages of deployment,” Greengart said. “I expect Apple to launch the iPhone 4G configuration only, segmented either by price or by regional changes.”
Ives Wedbush has also predicted that a lower cost, iPhone 12 4G alone will only hit the market early next year. And we have heard that rumor from other sources as well.
Assuming the economy continues to struggle, better phones – like the $ 349 Pixel 4a and $ 399 iPhone SE – can become even more attractive. They are proving that you can get most of the features you need for less money than you think.
Adding 5G to the iPhone 12 will not be enough to move the needle.