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The cheapest iPhone 12 might be more affordable than we thought

Published Jun 26th, 2020 6:50AM EDT

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  • The iPhone 12 price could be even lower than what we thought, says a new leak.
  • Apple will reportedly launch two 4G iPhone 12 versions alongside the four 5G models that have been featured extensively in rumors so far.
  • Pricing for the cheapest 4G iPhone 12 could start at $549, or $100 lower than the cheapest 5G iPhone 12 version.

The new iPhone 12 series is still a few months away and should be unveiled in September, according to regular schedule. The newest reports on the matter say the iPhone supply chain is running at full steam, with analysts expecting Apple to meet its launch targets. Previous estimates said that some of Apple’s iPhone 12 versions might be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The disease is far from being contained, with the US alone accounting for tens of thousands of new cases each day, setting brand new records. Other countries have notable outbreaks of their own, including Brazil, India, and Russia, and COVID-19 could remerge even in regions that have been able to flatten the curve.

Launching the new iPhone on time against this backdrop would be just a partial success. Apple will want to sell large iPhone quantities, as it does every year. But the worldwide economy has taken a serious hit, and expensive iPhones might not be on the menu for millions of potential buyers. Previous reports said the iPhone 12 series will be even more affordable than the iPhone 11 series. And a new rumor says that Apple is willing to price the cheapest iPhone 12 flavor much lower than we thought.

Apple will have four 5G iPhone 12 in stores this year, several reports have said. Well-informed Jon Prosser revealed the pricing structure for all models several weeks ago. He said the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 with 128GB of storage will cost $649. The premium 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max with 512GB of onboard storage will cost $1,399. If all of that is accurate, Apple will cover a wide range of prices for the iPhone 12 that could satisfy various budgets.

Starting at $649, the 5G iPhone 12 would be a much better proposition than its main competitors, including the Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8. It would be even cheaper than the Pixel 5, which is rumored to start at $699. Of all these devices, Google’s phone will be the least powerful.

This brings us to the latest iPhone 12 leak that claims the 4G models will be even cheaper. According to a new leaker that goes by the name of Omega Leaks on Twitter, Apple will have two 4G iPhone 12 versions in stores, including a smaller model priced at $549 and a 4G iPhone 12 Max that would cost $649. There’s no proof to corroborate these claims, however. Other reports did say a 4G iPhone 12 could be part of Apple’s 2020 lineup, and the rumor makes sense given the slow rollout of 5G networks.

If this is accurate, then the 4G iPhone 12 might be the best phone you could buy this year. Android vendors will have a tough time fighting such a package. The leak doesn’t even have to be accurate for us to expect a sub-$600 iPhone from Apple this fall. Let’s not forget that older iPhones remain in Apple’s inventory for more years. The iPhone 11 will stick around, especially if there’s no 4G iPhone 12, and it will likely cost $599. The iPhone 11 is currently the best-sold iPhone 11 series version. The price could go even lower if Apple continues to sell an iPhone 11 alongside a 4G iPhone 12. And if Apple keeps selling the iPhone XR as well, which retails for $599 right now, it would have to price it at $499 after the iPhone 12 launches.

Whatever happens, it’s absolutely clear that Apple is looking to cut iPhone prices this year, and the iPhone SE is the best example of that. At $399, the new iPhone SE has no rival when it comes to performance. The only thing that you might not like about the phone is that it rocks a pre-iPhone-X design.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.