Supports 5G network
If the iPhone 12 is introduced at 10 a.m. Sept. 15, it will be the first iPhone capable of supporting the new 5G cellular network, which is a next-generation wireless technology for faster data speeds.
All the major carriers are touting 5G coverage, but the demand for the service has yet to catch up to the technology, reports say.
Debuting in 2019, 5G has gradually overcome network coverage and compatibility issues. Current data speeds are modest, but that is expected to smooth out as more and more customers start to use 5G phones, reports said.
Further delays could stem from lower demand for high-speed wireless access as most Americans have been locked down at home for months due to the pandemic.
There’s also a heftier price tag for 5G devices, which could put the new iPhone out of reach for many consumers who have been out of work.
What will it look like?
Rumors are also circulating about what the new iPhone 12 will look like.
The Wall Street Journal reported in April that this year’s new iPhones will include one with a 5.4-inch screen, two with 6.1-inch screens and a big model with a 6.7-inch screen, according to the company.
Forbes reported the different versions of the phone will be equipped with either low-grade, midrange or premium 5G capabilities, with increased cost for a higher tier of service.
There could also be a throwback design change.
Instead of rounded edges, the new device is rumored to be returning to the flat, squared stainless steel and aluminum edges of the iPhone 4, which debuted in 2010.
In April, the company said its new fleet of iPhones would arrive later than September, which typically is the month that customers swarm to Apple stores to scoop up the world’s most popular handheld device.
Before the pandemic, Apple planned a redesign of the iPhone with a “super cycle” of upgrades, including 5G connectivity, that the company hoped would encourage owners of older models to upgrade to the revamped 2020 version, according to reports.
Forbes’ report speculated whether the battery power would also be compromised in this latest version of the iPhone.
A recent leak from within Apple revealed plans for a 4G version of the iPhone 12 early next year that will cost $200 less and have a better battery life, according to Forbes.
Privacy feature upgrade
Apple is also delaying a new privacy feature in the next version of its iPhone operating system that will make it more difficult for app makers to track people online to help sell digital ads.
The decision outlined Thursday affects iOS 14, which is expected to be released as a free software upgrade to roughly a billion iPhone users later this month. Apple intended iOS 14 to automatically block tracking as soon as it came out, but the company now says it will hold back the tool until early next year.
The feature would require apps to explicitly ask users for permission to collect and share data about their online behavior through a unique code that identifies every iPhone. That requirement raised fears that most people would block the tracking, making it more difficult for free apps to sell the ads that generate most of their revenue.
Currently, apps are automatically given a tracking code unless users of iPhones and other Apple devices go to the extra trouble of changing their privacy controls on their own.
— Information provided by The Associated Press was used to supplement this report.