The last time we had a model and price range this broad was 2018 when Apple introduced a very confusing array of models. That year, the iPhone lineup started at $449 and topped out at $1,449. This year, with phones that have some substantially improved features, the price spread is the same, but the low end and top end are each fifty bucks lower, ranging from $399 to $1,399.
Lest you think Apple has gotten altruistic this year, keep in mind that as of 2020, the company no longer ships a power adapter nor headphones in the box. Without a doubt, they’ll likely make up the missing $50 on accessories, specially their new MagSafe charger for the iPhone 12 series.
Let’s kick off our chooser by looking at pricing for each model variation now on offer.
2020 iPhone pricing, compared
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||$1,099||$1,199||$1,399||A14 Bionic|
|iPhone 12 Pro||$999||$1,099||$1,299||A14 Bionic|
|iPhone 12||$799||$849||$949||A14 Bionic|
|iPhone 12 mini||$699||$749||$849||A14 Bionic|
|iPhone 11||$599||$649||$749||A13 Bionic|
|iPhone XR||$499||$549||A12 Bionic|
|iPhone SE||$399||$449||$549||A13 Bionic|
Missing Touch ID
This year, the only phone Apple sells with Touch ID is the reimagined iPhone SE (which is basically an updated iPhone 8). All the other devices use Apple’s TrueDepth sensor to provide support for Face ID. This is unfortunate, especially in these pandemic times when face coverings are mandated inside most offices and public buildings. Using any of the currently sold iPhones, therefore, will almost always require removing PPE in order to unlock the phone unless you tap in a code instead.
After Apple introduced its redesigned iPad Air last month, we were hoping and expecting that the new phones would take into account the New Normal and include the power-button Touch ID sensor sported by the new Air. Unfortunately, the 2020 phones were probably too far into their design-and-launch cycle by pandemic time for Apple to incorporate that technology in this generation of phones.
Although Apple has been fully committed to Face ID for a few generations now, we expect a strong push towards the return of Touch ID in the next generation of phones, especially if the pandemic is still raging next year.
Here’s the short form of this article. If you want comparatively cheap but don’t mind earlier obsolescence, get an iPhone SE. Likewise, if you want Touch ID and a Home button, your only choice is the SE.
If you live in one of the very few regions that have fully-available 5G service, consider any of the iPhone 12 models. All new iPhones now support 5G.
If you want a physically small phone with a ton of capability, get the iPhone 12 mini.
If you want top-of-the-line camera features and don’t mind spending for it, get an iPhone 12 Pro Max.
If you want some new camera features along with animoji and memoji and