The iPhone 12: Here’s What You Need to Know

I think $729 for the mini isn’t bad. I’m willing to pay for engineering high-end specs into a svelte package.

But I get when people aren’t thrilled with the price of the 12 when comparing to the previous iPhones. A lot of people felt the iPhone 11 for $699 was very well priced and sure enough strong sales promptly followed. The iPhone 12 is now $829 (+19%) but Apple also has another two $19 add-ons that were included with the 11 and are now missing from the BOM of the 12. Including those puts us at $867. That’s a 24% price hike. Not insignificant for what is primarily 5G vs. LTE and OLED vs. LCD.

I have a set of lightning earbuds in almost every room in my house (I’m the only one who ever uses them so everyone gives them to me) and a drawer full of chargers that I should really donate to Goodwill so I guess I just saved $38.

I want to clarify - it’s the size for me. Apple could make a stripped down Mini and I’d be on it in a heartbeat. I actually wish they had made a stripped down one. (I wonder how new SE sales will end up?)

I’m coming from an original SE and I just love that size. Fits in my pockets and hands easily. I think the Mini is close enough that I’d like it. I was pretty disappointed in the new SE although I haven’t seen one in person to compare.



I’m with you, @dianed143. It’s all about the size for me (also still on the first gen SE). I would have happily moved to a non-flagship iPhone as long as it was a similar size to my SE, but as you say, the second gen SE is not. I love the look of the mini, and really glad their are some good colour options, too!

I don’t think Apple should off free chargers when ordering an iPhone, because loads of people would just add it on, knowing that it’s their one shot to get something free. Even if they already have a charger, they would get it “in case” theirs breaks or to have an extra charger for convenience. I think there needs to be a reasonable cost for the chargers, because that’s the only way to reduce the waste, and I think the environmental arguments for this change are genuine and meaningful. (Most people really do have plenty of chargers lying around.) However, I also agree that Apple needs to cut the price of something, otherwise it looks like (and is) a money-grabbing exercise, regardless of the environmental benefits. They shouldn’t be making lots of profits on chargers out of this decision.

When they announced no charger in the Watch, my first thought was that they should offer a discounted charger if ordering at the same time as the watch. However, this could cause the same issue of inducing false demand amongst people who don’t want to miss out on a ‘deal’. Then I saw this story yesterday: Apple cuts EarPods and iPhone charger prices by $10 after it stops bundling them - The Verge. I actually think this is perfect. $20 for a good quality 20W charger seems like a ‘reasonable’ price to me. There’s clearly a margin in there for Apple, but it doesn’t seem overly expensive (which is what $30 felt like).

Well, SE2 was inexpensive but not small. The 12 mini is small, but not inexpensive. In a sense I guess you could say there’s now a phone for everybody in Apple’s lineup. Eventually the 12 mini will become the SE3, maybe by the time we reach the iPhone 14. Or maybe they tweak its design for that purpose, for example power button TouchID instead of FaceID, or LCD instead of OLED.

No, it’s still excessive. There’s plenty of better chargers (including quality hardware) for little more than half of what Apple still charges. Usually the Apple tax can be justified by some superior aspect. But when it comes to chargers they’re just plain lazy. And charging twice for sub-par, in my book that’s nowhere close to ‘reasonable’.

They’re basically the same size. SE 2 is a quarter of inch taller, one-eight of inch wider, and same thickness as the 12 mini.

Eh. It’s fine; a rounding error compared to the overall cost of the phone.

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I’m not saying you can’t get something better or less expensive, or both, but I still consider $20 to be ‘reasonable’. The chargers in your first post linked to there are in the same region ($13-$25). I’m not including promotional deals, because the skews like-for-like comparisons, there’s nothing to say the new Apple charger won’t be available with a coupon from somewhere online.

Also, you can look at it another way: you’re no longer getting a less-than-best charger in the box, so you can buy the charger you really want instead. If you can get a great one for $10, I don’t see it as a big deal. And, honestly, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t already have a charger or three.

(As for the EarPods, those were always a waste – I have brand new ones sitting in drawers, as they don’t fit my ears.)

Addendum: Also, a lot of companies don’t make well designed chargers for different plug styles. For instance, the UK version of the Aukey charger in your post is an ugly chunky thing that is bulky, compared to a nice Apple design that has folding prongs. The Aukey one is only £2 less expensive. I honestly think Apple’s charger price is now more in line with the market.

You nailed it! Some of us were hoping for both in one package :wink: I actually thought the original SE was good on both counts!

As impressed as I am by the 12 cameras, I don’t need a fantastic camera in my phone and would happily have given that up for a price cut.


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It’s ironic that in the UK they apparently have a folding plug, whereas here in the US they stubbornly resist a folding plug unlike their competition.


It most definitely was. It was not only small and less expensive, at the time it also came with the latest and greatest (well, 6 months old) chipset. It was simply an awesome iPhone.

I think the 12 mini is similar, except perhaps for its price. Considering though that Apple has jacked up prices of the iPhone across the board, it seems in line. I suppose if you don’t care about having the latest and greatest internals you could always wait for two years and then hope to pick up a mini for $529.

Re: size, the original SE is what I use daily because I can use it single handed. I had a 6 which went straight to the garbage because it was too wide to be used with a single hand (and it was slippery like heck too). The SE2 is the same size as the 6 (a bit thicker actually) so that certainly would have never served as a replacement for my SE. The 12 mini is 5.5 mm wider than the SE, so just barely within reach.

If I could change anything about the 12 mini package though it would be the camera bump. Make the back case flush so no more bump, but use that extra volume for more battery. My hunch is Apple has a certain max weight figured out for this form factor and since batteries are heavy, that extra battery thickness would push beyond their weight limit. Perceived weight depends a lot on size as I learned though. My 6 was 16g heavier than my SE, but it always felt a lot lighter. The mini is 22g heavier than the SE, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it felt about the same weight simply due to its larger footprint.

The 5-nm A14 in iPhone 12 is a beast. Geekbench 5 scores are 1,597/4,152. In line with new iPad Air scores. That score pretty much matches my 2020 Core i7 MBP. :laughing:

A Tale

I bought a new car last week. Beautiful vehicle. I went to a filling station on the way home and discovered there was no way to add gasoline. I called the dealership and was told, “Oh, you wanted to be able to drive the car after you got home. It’s a necessity but not included with your car and is available for $800.” (2% of a $40,000 car.)

That is what Apple is doing: finagling its customers out of another 2% on a $1000 (or more) iPhone. Calling it green is, at best, disingenuous.

Funny, but when 90% of the car’s buyers can use their old “add gasoline adapter” from their previous car, they look at it as a savings.

I haven’t even taken the EarPods or power brick out of my iPhone boxes for the last 5-6 iPhones I’ve had (and I pretty much get a new one every year as I’m on the annual upgrade plan). I’ve got USB chargers all over the house (many installed in AC outlets).

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The whole thing would have been a non-issue if they would have allowed those customers who actually need a new charger to get one for free (or at cost) when they buy a fancy new iPhone 12. That would have sent a clear message this is about environment alone. And if indeed it’s true that everybody and their dog already has dozens of chargers, well then the environment would have certainly benefited just as much.

But because Apple couldn’t resist raking in another couple of bucks, the discussion people are now actually having is how the world’s largest company sells a $1099 phone and is still too cheap to include a charger. Apple’s PR is not as good as I thought they were if they didn’t anticipate the discussion turning this way. But maybe they are that good and maybe they did know it would turn into this and they just figured, bite us. :laughing:

That said, what’s truly ridiculous is that Samsung is now mocking Apple for this when we all know they will be following Apple’s move next chance they get. :roll_eyes:

On the flip side, as someone who’s bought only 2 iPhones and 1 iPad, at this point I only have two chargers as one of the early ones seems to have died.

I also use my EarPods nearly daily, and have gone through more than what I’ve received from my phones and iPods. The set I’m using now is nearly new but a bit flakey. I was happy to find an unopened box in a closet clean last month, but they are the old shape and actually painful for long periods of time, so it looks like I’ll be buying another set soon.


Cartoonist Mike Smith commented on this issue with the cables a year ago with the iPhone 11. Who says Apple doesn’t pay attention to the media? :stuck_out_tongue:

The other thing I’d like to note is that most of us know other people who have iPhones. I’m not offering to mail stuff around, but if anyone I knew complained about needing a power adapter or pair of earbuds, I’d dig one out and give it to them. (In fact, I did that just a few months ago, when my late friend Oliver mentioned that his wife really liked the wired EarPods but had damaged her pair.) I’m sure lots of others would be happy to share as well.

I’ve got a drawer full of USB chargers from all kinds of devices. Unfortunately, most of them (especially from older non-Apple devices) are very low power, many of them around 2.5W (the old USB 2.0 standard of 500mA). I often bring these with me when traveling, because I don’t care if they get lost or stolen, but they charge modern devices very slowly.

Until recently, I never had enough Apple 5W chargers because I only got them bundled with new phones and iPods, which I don’t purchase very often. I recently bought three of them from Apple in order to have enough to use around the house. Now I’m glad I did, since my next phone won’t be including one (assuming 5W will be able to fully charge it during the 5-8 hours it’s on my nightstand…)

“tiny” iphone12mini? yeah, it’s smaller than all the current phablets on offer but it’s still about 15% bigger than my se(tos). still, i’ll take what i can get: the se(tos) is getting a tad long in the tooth …

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A further thought on the issue of (not) including a charger or EarPods, for all the people who say that Apple is just taking that as extra profit: how do we know that the new iPhones (and watch) don’t have improvements that would have otherwise required raising the price of the phone by ~$30 (or whatever the cost of a charger+EarPods is to Apple). As someone who doesn’t need the charger and has never had a use for the EarPods because of their fit, I didn’t much like that I was forced to pay for them. This way, the entire amount of what I’m paying goes to the ‘phone’ (including Apple’s profit margins, of course, but that’s part of how the business runs).

Nothing is free, even if you don’t pay for it. Just because it’s no longer included doesn’t mean the savings to Apple are being taken as pure profit. It could be they developed a more ambitious phone knowing they didn’t have to recoup the cost, logistics, and shipping of including the charger and EarPods.