Apple enters 5G race with new iPhone 12s

"So now I would like to show you the very first iPhone with 5G."

Apple Tuesday unveiled its new line of smartphones - the iPhone 12.

Finally jumping on the 5G bandwagon - hoping smartphone users' access to faster mobile network speeds will convince them to trade up and keep a sales boom going into the end of the year. A revamped design brings a thinner, smaller, lighter iPhone to market with a tougher screen called Ceramic Shield developed with Corning glass.

There's also a faster chip inside for improved processing speeds - all so consumers will be able to get more from a 5G phone. 5G is theoretically 10 to 20 times faster than phones operating on 4G networks.

Apple CEO Tim Cook:

"Every decade there is a new generation of technology that provides a step change in what we can do with our iPhones. The next generation is here. 5G will bring a new level of performance for downloads and uploads, higher quality video streaming, more responsive gaming, real-time interactivity and so much more."

Apple, however, is late to the 5G upgrade cycle. Android devices made by the likes of Samsung have been on the market for months.

Hoping to play catch up and gain a competitive edge - Apple is launching in the U.S. on the faster version of 5G mobile networks. Some rival Android devices run on the slower end of the 5G spectrum.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg made an appearance at Tuesday's virtual event to say his higher-speed 5G network is ready for the iPhone 12.

"5G just got real."

But will U.S. consumers upgrading to an Apple 5G phone really notice the difference? With mobile networks in the U.S. still far behind 5G networks in places like South Korea and China, Apple has to walk a fine line between exciting consumers enough to want to upgrade - - - without promising too much.

A $699 iPhone 12 mini and a $799 mid-tier model go on sale this month, while two high-end pro versions go on sale in November with a top price tag of $1400.

Video Transcript

TIM COOK: So now I'd like to show you the very first iPhone with 5G.

- Apple Tuesday unveiled its new line of smartphones, the iPhone 12, finally jumping on the 5G bandwagon, hoping smartphone users' access to fast mobile network speeds will convince them to trade up and keep a sales boom going into the end of the year.

A revamped design brings a thinner, smaller, lighter iPhone to market with a tougher screen called Ceramic Shield developed with Corning glass. There's also a faster chip inside for improved processing speeds, all so consumers will be able to get more from a 5G phone. 5G is theoretically 10 to 20 times faster than phones operating on 4G networks.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

TIM COOK: Every decade, there's a new generation of technology that provides a step change in what we can do with our iPhones. The next generation is here. 5G will bring a new level of performance for downloads and uploads, higher-quality video streaming, more responsive gaming, real-time interactivity, and so much more.

- But Apple is late to the 5G upgrade cycle. Android devices, made by the likes of Samsung, have been on the market for months. Hoping to play catch-up and gain a competitive edge, Apple is launching in the US on the faster version of 5G mobile networks. Some rival Android devices run on the slower end of the 5G spectrum.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg made an appearance at Tuesday's virtual event to say his higher-speed 5G network is ready for the iPhone 12.

HANS VESTBERG: 5G just got real.

- But will US consumers upgrading to an Apple 5G phone really notice the difference? With mobile networks in the US still far behind 5G networks in places like South Korea and China, Apple has to walk a fine line between exciting consumers enough to want to upgrade without promising too much. A $699 iPhone 12 mini and a $799 mid-tier model go on sale this month, while two high-end Pro versions go on sale in November with a top price tag of $1,400.