If you’re an iPhone user and you need a new iPhone, the short answer is yes, you should get an iPhone 12. If you can afford it, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, while late to the game, is the best iPhone ever made. As every Apple Fanperson knows, iPhones are not phones; they are fashion accessories. As such, iPhone purchases are not business decisions, but rather lifestyle choices. For full details about the iPhone 12 launch, see The Apple iPhone 12 Event: Everything You Need to Know.
Will I get one? Yes, but only because I’m on Verizon’s “new iPhone every year” plan. I pay a monthly fee for the phone and insurance and get a new phone every year. (Apple has a similar plan.)
But… and this is a huge but… if I wasn’t on the new phone every year plan, I’d have to think long and hard about whether or not to get an iPhone 12 Pro Max over my iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The 5G connectivity is meaningless. The U.S. is still mostly 4G, and even when the 5G indicator lights up, there’s a very good chance that the backhaul (or some part of the network you are connected to) is 4G. In 2020/2021, no phone (Apple or otherwise) will truly benefit from having a 5G radio in it. At the moment, 5G is 95% marketing hype and 5% marketing hype!
The deciding factor for me is the camera. The iPhone 12 Pro Max will shoot in Apple ProRAW (the feature speaks for itself). The new iPhones can shoot and edit 4K video in HDR Pro and Dolby Vision HDR formats. If you have the video workflow to take advantage of these features, you know who you are, and you know why you will want a 12 Pro Max.
For developers and people who like to live on the edge of technology, the addition of LiDAR and a few other features put the new flagship iPhone in first position for AR.
I’m not sad about not getting a charger or wired earbuds with the new phone, but Apple’s eco-friendly explanation was disingenuous and insulting. They will reduce the environmental impact of iPhone packaging. That’s great. They will reduce the use of certain raw materials. That’s great. Except… you will need to purchase these accessories from Apple or third-party vendors who will now create individual packaging for each. So, where there used to be one box shipped containing three items, three will be created and shipped to take its place. I call bullshit! Apple wants to sell you a $40 MagSafe charger and some version of their AirPods for your new phone, so they are forcing you to need those accessories to use the devices. (Yes, most people who are likely to purchase an iPhone have a drawer full of chargers that take USB-A cables, but how many people have extra USB-C chargers laying around?) The new iPhones ship with a USB-C to Lightning cable in the new, thinner box.
To Sum Up
No iPhone 11 user “needs” an iPhone 12. At best, the iPhone 12 line offers some iterative feature improvements over the previous generation. However, the iPhone 12 line does offer a single benefit: if you want an iPhone 12, nothing else will do.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.