• Apple unveiled its new iPhone 12 lineup on Tuesday during the company’s “Hi, Speed” event — including the top-tier iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max handsets.
  • Details of the entire lineup leaked in the hours leading up to Apple’s event on Tuesday.
  • Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Pro start this Friday, October 16, with availability starting on October 23, while Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Pro Max start November 6, with availability beginning November 13.

Apple has just unveiled its top-tier iPhone 12 models during the company’s “Hi, Speed” event being livestreamed today — those model being the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, Apple’s largest-ever handset that boasts an expansive 6.7-inch display.

The model’s design was included in a big leak earlier today of everything teed up to be announced during the event, which in any other year Apple would have actually already held back in September (but for the coronavirus pandemic that’s scuttled so many plans and events like this one throughout 2020). This iPhone launch event is also more important than recent launches for Apple, because it’s expected that the iPhone 12 lineup will kick off an upgrade “supercycle.” The thinking is that consumers will be motivated to grab one of the newest handsets thanks to a new design, as well as support for 5G high-speed service (“Hi, Speed,” get it?) that’s slowly making its way to communities around the world.

Interest in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, leading up to today’s event, was particularly keen on expected camera features and improvements, like better image stabilization and optical zoom, improved low-light camera performance, and a triple-lens camera scheme with a LiDAR sensor. “The next generation is here,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during Tuesday’s event, about the new iPhone lineup.

In a recent analyst note penned by Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives, he laid out the case for why today’s Apple event was so highly anticipated thus: “Across the board we are seeing an uptick around production and pent-up demand for the slate of iPhone 12 models (expecting 4 new models) set to be unveiled next week in this launch event. In particular we are seeing Apple and its Asian suppliers anticipate stepped-up demand for the larger 6.7-inch model which is raising the overall iPhone 12 expectations heading into this ‘once in a decade’ potential launch.”

iPhone 12 Pro and Pro MaxImage source: Apple

Moreover, he continued, the timing is right for an “unprecedented” iPhone upgrade cycle.

As far as details about the Pro and Pro Max release dates and pricing: The iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999, while the Pro Max starts at $1,099.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Pro start this Friday, October 16, with availability starting on October 23. Pre-orders for the Pro Max, meanwhile, start November 6, with availability beginning November 13.

From Apple’s announcement:

“iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new design and edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR displays, the largest ever on iPhone, protected by the all-new Ceramic Shield front cover, which provides the biggest jump in durability ever on iPhone. The Apple-designed A14 Bionic chip, the fastest chip in a smartphone, powers impressive computational photography features including the all-new Apple ProRAW for more creative control in photos, and enables the first end-to-end Dolby Vision video experience, up to 60 fps.”

The reimagined pro camera systems, Apple continues, include “an expansive Ultra Wide camera, a Telephoto camera with an even longer focal length on iPhone 12 Pro Max, and new Wide cameras to capture beautiful professional-quality images and video in bright and low-light environments.” iPhone 12 Pro models also introduce MagSafe, which offers high-powered wireless charging and an all-new ecosystem of accessories that easily attach to iPhone.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available in four stainless steel finishes, including graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue. “This is a huge leap for iPhone, bringing the best 5G experience in the market and delivering our most advanced technologies to users who want the absolute most from their iPhone,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“Each generation of iPhone has changed what we expect from a smartphone, and now with 5G, iPhone 12 Pro provides a new generation of performance.

All told, Apple has not disappointed today. The iPhone 12 lineup this year was poised to be especially ambitious, with the company set to release four new OLED-based devices. All iPhone 12 models will include support for 5G connectivity, in addition to boasting Apple’s next-gen A14 processor and enhanced camera capabilities across the board.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.