Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

iPhone 12 Do you think 2020 impacted the way iPhone 12 is?

IsaacM

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 8, 2011
190
317
As we all know, we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic that massively impacted research, design and production in the tech world.

Do you think the iPhone 12 that was recently unveiled is the same device Apple was planning on designing before the pandemic hit?

Or were there changes things that got the axe like:
- 120hz
- smaller notch
- bigger battery
etc.

What are your thoughts?
 
  • Like
Reactions: calstanford

AlecEdworthy

macrumors 6502
May 1, 2007
358
83
Leicestershire, UK
No, so much of this will have been nailed down in advance I suspect. What would have been interesting, and a major selling point IMHO, would have been the addition of TouchID alongside FaceID given the increase in wearing of face coverings. Suspect though that this wasn't possible for the same reasons - design choices locked in too far in advance to make the change due to the pandemic.
 

Cryates

macrumors 68030
Nov 19, 2013
2,718
3,433
Chattanooga, TN
iPhone are designed years in advance - At least the foundation. 2020 would have only had an effect on the production lines, not the design or feature-set.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ericwn

suyashsrij28

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2019
123
128
London, England
a major selling point IMHO, would have been the addition of TouchID alongside FaceID given the increase in wearing of face coverings

It would be nice to have the option, but I think it would have to be decided based on data and not because of a pandemic which will be over by next year (or I hope, at least).
 

Nozuka

macrumors 68030
Jul 3, 2012
2,542
3,348
I doubt it.

120hz was likely not yet added, because of battery concerns. 5G will already be a strain on the smaller battery.

And the battery is smaller, because the iPhone is thinner again. (Thank god! It has gotten fat.)


Or maybe they just thought "we already got 5G as this years new feature, we can add 120hz next year to give them a reason to buy again" ;)
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
18,157
9,160
Colorado
iPhone are designed years in advance - At least the foundation. 2020 would have only had an effect on the production lines, not the design of feature-set.

Agreed. I don't see covid having much impact on the design of the iPhone 12
 

LonestarOne

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2019
256
311
McKinney, TX
No engineering organization ever has unlimited resources to do everything they’d like. There will always be customers who don’t understand that and think the engineers hate them because they didn’t get a faster refresh rate or a lighter, more powerful battery or a smaller notch. Last year, people were upset because Apple didn’t include 5G. This year, now that Apple’s included more 5G compatibility than any other phone on the market, people are complaining that it’s useless because the 5G network is so immature.

The pandemic has definitely had an effect, however. Look at the paucity of information on new camera features, for example. Normally, Apple would have seeded advanced copies of the phone to selected photographers and we’d be seeing examples of their work by now. And journalists would be giving us more information based on their conversations with Apple engineers and the hands-on demo after the introduction.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gpoop

okieoutwest

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2019
119
128
california
No, but I think that 2021 & 2022 roadmaps will look slightly different due to a lot of prototyping and manufacturing being delayed this year. Anyone working with engineering/design this year that requires special equipment was significantly delayed by at least 3-4 months while strict physical distancing was enforced in CA.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cousintim

Dovahkiing

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2013
299
182
No I think if pandemic related factors had impacted the design decisions then they would have given 12 (at least the pro) the power-button Touch ID as a secondary authentication means. Apple Pay is essentially useless right now - it’s faster to use my wallet than it is to wait for my phone to try Face ID, realize I’m wearing a mask, then prompt me for and have me enter my passcode.
 

ian87w

macrumors 65832
Feb 22, 2020
1,501
1,597
Indonesia
The design and features would have been set in stone way before the pandemic. As for 120Hz, there was an article about Apple having to decide 5G or 120Hz, and based on how they got deals with the carriers, they chose or nudged towards 5G.

What might be truly being affected by the pandemic is probably the delayed ship date. It's rare for Apple to have such delayed announcement and ship date for their flagship product the iPhone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AAPLGeek

ian87w

macrumors 65832
Feb 22, 2020
1,501
1,597
Indonesia
No, but I think that 2021 & 2022 roadmaps will look slightly different due to a lot of prototyping and manufacturing being delayed this year. Anyone working with engineering/design this year that requires special equipment was significantly delayed by at least 3-4 months while strict physical distancing was enforced in CA.
So we might have another ss and sss cycle, like the iPhone 7 and 8 then. May not be a bad thing as this means the on the iPhone 13 or 14, Apple can focus on the tech/components.

And sometimes with this, Apple might bring even more colors to compensate. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: okieoutwest

okieoutwest

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2019
119
128
california
So we might have another ss and sss cycle, like the iPhone 7 and 8 then. May not be a bad thing as this means the on the iPhone 13 or 14, Apple can focus on the tech/components.

And sometimes with this, Apple might bring even more colors to compensate. :)

I think the external hardware form has an established pattern that everyone agrees about, for sure. And, while this is not an area I know anything about, it seems like the semiconductor technology has its own rate of progress, that isn't quite 2-3 years, so it doesn't perfectly line up with form factor, it gets close.

So the question becomes, do you want in at the beginning or the end of the 3-year form cycle? 🤣 Novelty vs performance in that form factor.
 

ian87w

macrumors 65832
Feb 22, 2020
1,501
1,597
Indonesia
I think the external hardware form has an established pattern that everyone agrees about, for sure. And, while this is not an area I know anything about, it seems like the semiconductor technology has its own rate of progress, that isn't quite 2-3 years, so it doesn't perfectly line up with form factor, it gets close.

So the question becomes, do you want in at the beginning or the end of the 3-year form cycle? 🤣 Novelty vs performance in that form factor.
Ah yes, that's the dilemma.
Personally the tail usually gives the best version of the form factor, eg the iPhone 8, and the 11 Pro. And the tail usually gets some unique colors to compensate the tired design. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gorniac

flyguy5

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2018
16
53
If everything was set in stone so far in advance, then why did the iPad Air get Touch ID on the power button? It would have been way easier for them to put Face ID on the iPad, but they went with a completely new Touch ID system on the iPad Air.
 

VSMacOne

macrumors 601
Oct 18, 2008
4,845
1,514
Doubtful. IMO the only thing that was affected was the release. These phones are planned so far in advance. And the Touch ID on the iPad Air had nothing to do with the pandemic, and I think Apple was sure to not make that connection in any of their materials. I think it was just a differentiation strategy to keep the Pro attractive until the next upgrade.
 

flyguy5

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2018
16
53
Doubtful. IMO the only thing that was affected was the release. These phones are planned so far in advance. And the Touch ID on the iPad Air had nothing to do with the pandemic, and I think Apple was sure to not make that connection in any of their materials. I think it was just a differentiation strategy to keep the Pro attractive until the next upgrade.

Touch ID being completely revamped and revived on the iPad Air during a global pandemic seems like a pretty big coincidence to me, especially for a company that went all in on Face ID.

Why would they not put it on the iPhone 12 power button, the technology was clearly there because they released it on the iPad Air to the public, and obviously they were thinking about Touch ID for the iPad Air during the same time they were making the iPhone, so its not possible that they only thought about putting it on the iPad Air and not also on the iPhone. At some point, they must have ruled it out for the iPhone but decided to keep it on the iPad. But why? Especially during a pandemic, they had almost 8 months to figure it out way in advance of this keynote, and they knew people wanted Touch ID back, it seems so bizarre, and its even more bizarre that the iPad Air actually did get it.
 
Last edited:

jdphoto

macrumors 6502
Jan 13, 2014
296
32
If everything was set in stone so far in advance, then why did the iPad Air get Touch ID on the power button? It would have been way easier for them to put Face ID on the iPad, but they went with a completely new Touch ID system on the iPad Air.

The Face ID components aren't too cheap relatively speaking and with them moving the "bezel-less" design down one level in the iPad family they were likely looking to cut costs. The fingerprint reader in the power button is by no means unique to the iPad so the R&D on that likely wasn't too expensive especially amortized over the volume of iPad Air's shipped. My bet is that it was a cost play but happened to be convenient during the pandemic. Also iPhone volume is drastically higher than iPad volume in terms of sales so there could also be part sourcing issues at play as well.
 

Cryates

macrumors 68030
Nov 19, 2013
2,718
3,433
Chattanooga, TN
If everything was set in stone so far in advance, then why did the iPad Air get Touch ID on the power button? It would have been way easier for them to put Face ID on the iPad, but they went with a completely new Touch ID system on the iPad Air.
And you know this hasn’t been in development for awhile because...?

Apple has been rumored to transition the Air and Mini iPad lines to this style of design for a long time now. It’s been in development. But part of making it cheaper than the Pro would have been to replace Face ID with a capacitive Touch ID solution. They’ve been working on this.
 

Student of Life

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2020
17
7
No it was not impacted because we dont have Touch ID on the power button.

The Touch ID on the new iPad Air 4 is more of a way to distinguish both product lines. As previously mentioned the Face ID components are more expensive compared to Touch ID. Think about it logically, if the new Air had Face ID, the only missing feature would be pro motion; it would have the superior chip, the lower price and Face ID. Apple does not want this, so to distinguish between the pro and the air it added Touch ID.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cryates

ian87w

macrumors 65832
Feb 22, 2020
1,501
1,597
Indonesia
If everything was set in stone so far in advance, then why did the iPad Air get Touch ID on the power button? It would have been way easier for them to put Face ID on the iPad, but they went with a completely new Touch ID system on the iPad Air.
Not that too far in advance, but at least when they released the 11 Pro, they would’ve already had the 12 Pro almost set in stone, barring materials or component shortages.

As for the iPad Air, the choice for TouchID instead of FaceID is simple, margins and segmentation. Apple wanted to reuse the same design as the Pros, but still save the cost as the Air will be cheaper. And TouchID on power button is not new. It’s actually the cheaper option vs under display scanners. Fingerprint on the power button has been used by many mid to lower end Android. Just because Apple put their branding on something doesn’t mean it’s a new thing.

Sometimes things are as simple as coincidental, but at the right time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: VSMacOne

VSMacOne

macrumors 601
Oct 18, 2008
4,845
1,514
Touch ID being completely revamped and revived on the iPad Air during a global pandemic seems like a pretty big coincidence to me, especially for a company that went all in on Face ID.

Why would they not put it on the iPhone 12 power button, the technology was clearly there because they released it on the iPad Air to the public, and obviously they were thinking about Touch ID for the iPad Air during the same time they were making the iPhone, so its not possible that they only thought about putting it on the iPad Air and not also on the iPhone. At some point, they must have ruled it out for the iPhone but decided to keep it on the iPad. But why? Especially during a pandemic, they had almost 8 months to figure it out way in advance of this keynote, and they knew people wanted Touch ID back, it seems so bizarre, and its even more bizarre that the iPad Air actually did get it.
The strategy for the iPad lines is completely different than the iPhone. Every iPhone that dropped Touch ID gained Face ID. The iPad Air with Face ID would have been too close to the iPad Pro. People are already saying that the Pro line with its less performance A12Z is not worth the price difference once the new Air is released. Going full screen with the Air and keeping the price down means they had to either to in screen Touch ID or power button. I don’t think we’ll see an iPhone with Touch ID in the power button for a number of reasons, chief among which is that the technology will be there with next year’s screens to have in under the display. I don’t expect to see power button Touch ID as a long term feature.
 

edhchoe

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2011
1,144
613
I think the Orange color got axed because of the orange sky we had this summer during the pan-fires.

download.jpg
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Nozuka and VSMacOne
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.