Apple's iPhone 12 event

By Rishi Iyengar and Kaya Yurieff, CNN Business

Updated 4:41 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020
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4:41 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

AT&T offers iPhone 12 deal to grow 5G adoption

From CNN Business' Clare Duffy

Mobile carriers are eager to get more customers on their 5G networks, although they're still in the process of building out 5G infrastructure.

AT&T (T) is offering a deal for customers who want the new 5G iPhone 12. Customers can get the iPhone 12 for $0 down, when they buy it on an AT&T installment plan, subscribe to an Unlimited data plan and trade in a working iPhone 8 or higher. The offer doesn't apply to the 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max. (CNN parent company WarnerMedia is owned by AT&T.) 

The company hopes the deal will encourage customers to upgrade despite the “challenging year,” CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a statement. Consumers have in recent years been going longer between device upgrades, and this year could be particularly challenging for smartphone sales because of the pandemic and economic downturn. 

AT&T’s superfast, “wideband” 5G network is available in parts of 35 US cities. Its “low-band” network, which is faster than 4G but not nearly as speedy as “wideband” 5G, is available to more than 200 million people nationwide.

2:08 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Lidar is not just for self-driving cars anymore

By CNN Business' Rachel Metz

Apple said Tuesday that the iPhone 12 Pro will come with a lidar scanner, which uses laser pulses to measure distances between objects.

The technology, which is known for helping self-driving cars navigate, can be used to build depth maps of different scenes and Apple plans to employ it for several applications. The company said it will help with placing augmented-reality objects more precisely on surfaces, and for quickly autofocusing the phone's camera to capture low-light scenes in photos and videos.

2:57 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

How much each iPhone costs

From CNN Business' Kaya Yurieff

The iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999, while the Pro Max costs $1099. The iPhone mini starts at $699, while iPhone 12 comes in at $799.

Older models are cheaper, too. The iPhone 11 costs $599, while the iPhone XR is $499. The budget iPhone SE is $399.

The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro will be available for pre-order on Oct. 16 and in stores on Oct. 23. The iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max will be available for pre-order on Nov. 6 and in stores Nov. 13.

2:57 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Apple and Google offer alternatives to super-expensive phones

From CNN Business' Rishi Iyengar, Kaya Yurieff and Elana Zak

Apple's latest devices are good news for anyone not looking to shell out $1,000 for a new phone.

The iPhone 12 mini starts at $699, while the iPhone 12 starts at $799. That's downright affordable compared to other smartphones on the market that cost as much as $2,000.

Apple isn't alone in targeting a more cost-conscious user. Google's Pixel 5 starts at $699 and the Pixel 4a 5G starts at $499. Meanwhile, the Pixel 4a that launched earlier this year costs $399.

The relatively low price point of these devices could provide a more affordable entry point to the 5G ecosystem as well as other more advanced technologies.

4:11 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Apple tries to make the iPhone less wasteful

From CNN Business' Clare Duffy

Apple will ship the iPhone 12 without headphones or a charging brick, a move aimed at cutting down on waste.

More than 2 billion Apple power adapters are out in the world, and many customers already have wired headphones or AirPods, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson said.

"Removing these items also means a smaller, lighter iPhone box," Jackson said. "We can fit up to 70% more items on a shipping pallet," reducing shipping emissions.

The new iPhone also uses 100% recycled rare earth elements for all magnets, including in the camera and haptics.

The changes will cut out 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions created by iPhone production and shipping annually, Jackson said. By 2030, Apple plans to have net zero climate impact across its entire business, including its manufacturing supply chain and all devices.

2:05 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

iPhone 12 Pro & Pro Max are all about the camera

From CNN Business' Kaya Yurieff

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max boast a better camera and larger screen.

The high-end models come in four colors: silver, black, gold and blue. The Pro version has a 6.1 inch display and the Pro Max has a 6.7 inch display, both of which are larger screens than their predecessors.

As with many flagship phones, a big focal point is the camera -- it has a wider camera, better optical zoom range, and its lens lets in 27% more light. It features image stabilization for shaky hands or a bumpy car ride.

2:57 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

iPhone 12, but make it mini

From CNN Business' Kaya Yurieff

With dramatic James Bond music playing in the background, Apple opened a metal briefcase to reveal the iPhone 12 mini.

It has the same features as the iPhone 12, including 5G, a dual camera system, and the phone-protecting ceramic shield material. But it's smaller and lighter than the larger version, and features a 5.4 inch display.

iPhone Mini starts at $699, while iPhone 12 starts at $799.

1:45 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Apple's latest technology: Magnets

By CNN Business' Rachel Metz

Apple is adding a magnet to the back of the iPhone 12 to make it line up better with wireless chargers, for more efficient charging. This also enables certain accessories to snap on to the back of it, like a slim wallet the company showed off, and will allow wireless charging to work through some accessories.

2:14 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

'League of Legends' got a cameo in today's Apple event

From CNN Business' Shannon Liao

Apple specifically chose to highlight the forthcoming "League of Legends: Wild Rift" to showcase the iPhone 12's gaming capabilities. "League," the wildly popular online multiplayer game, has been a PC-only game for over ten years, and later this year it's finally coming to mobile, to both iOS and Android, reaching a whole new audience of over a billion users.

Putting the spotlight on "Wild Rift" is an interesting choice considering Apple might have promoted its Apple Arcade subscription service, which offers a curated collection of mostly indie game titles. Today, Apple chose instead to focus on an unreleased title that so far hasn't been announced for Apple Arcade at all. It didn't choose one of its current successes such as the extremely lucrative "Genshin Impact" or a long-term moneymaker like "Pokémon Go."

And it certainly didn't choose "Fortnite," which is currently not available in the App Store due to an ongoing legal battle between Apple and "Fortnite" creator Epic Games.

Last week a judge ruled last week that "Fortnite" would stay off of Apple's phones while the companies battle over the lawsuit.