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Apple iPhone 12 Overview



With the release of the Apple iPhone 12 some time ago, everyone is excited to get their hands on it! At the time of writing, this device is not for sale but some influencers have gotten their hands on it and recorded their unboxing experience which sparks some discussions.


Although I am not one of the influencers to get my hands on the device, I am a product designer and I like to review physical products as well! So here is my take on the Apple iPhone 12 based on the unboxing videos.






No Charger?!


Image credit : Marques Brownlee

I see that most comments mentioned how the charger is absent from this purchase. Even before the launch, this has been a pretty heavy rumor and people have been talking about it.


"I bought a phone and I have to buy its charger separately??"

"iPhone 2020: no charger. iPhone 2029: no phone"

"Apple's theory: We are saving the environment. Also Apple: We will make separate box covers and then cover them with plastic too."




Many people commented on how "rubbish" the no-charger reason being it's for the good of the environment or how stingy or greedy Apple is for making everyone buy another accessory that should have come with the phone purchase.


What some people do not know is that this applies to all newly produced iPhones from this day onwards. So it's not just iPhone 12 will have no charger in its box, but so do iPhone 11, iPhone SE, and other iPhones that are still actively manufactured.




Another reason for this move: Apple claims that you can actually use your own charger, so they don't have to provide you with another same charger. When I heard about this, I think Apple iPhone's most buyers are people that have already use iPhone, not someone that switched from another phone brand. In my opinion, this move is good for the environment and it is true indeed that you can still use your own charger. Because if 80% of their buyers are existing iPhone users, then what is the point of providing another charger?




I have to say, I disagree with people's comments saying that they HAVE to buy another charger. I don't actually think so. Buying another charger is actually something optional here because Apple claims that you can use your existing iPhone charger. So the fact that everyone commenting that you must buy a charger in order to be able to charge your iPhone 12 is not entirely true. It is only applicable to people who are first time iPhone user. I am interested to see the data of how many iPhone buyers are existing iPhone users and how many are not. I can only speculate that there is a massive percentage of iPhone buyers are existing iPhone users.



A YouTuber called Marques Brownlee raised a good question: "Why are they providing USB-C cable when they wanted us to use our existing charger?"


This is an interesting one. I can't know for sure why, I can only speculate.

I think the reason why Apple is giving out USB-C cable is that most existing iPhone users probably don't have this yet. Because it would be stupid to say "use your own charger" but giving you the exact same cable that you already have. If this is what they did, then I must agree with what's so environmentally friendly about that?

The USB-C cable is actually for the fast charging method, which is actually something optional. But the problem is, most people take fast charging as a necessity. Some people forgot that without using the fast charging method, you can still charge your iPhone 12 normally. I mean, they also have another optional method such as wireless charging, so why don't people also complain about why is the MagSafe charger not being included?


Also, I am quite happy that Apple provides the USB-C cable now because it can be very useful for connecting/charging my iPhone to my MacBook! I usually use a dongle to do that but the dongle itself is not giving a stable and sturdy performance connecting both.


"OK, so you want to be environmentally friendly, so why not get rid of the cable as well?"


Of course, Apple team has actually thought about this type of response before coming up with this final decision to remove the charger.


Looking at most provocative Apple moves such as removing the physical button on the phone screen, making phone battery unremovable, not allowing external memory, getting rid of cable in the earphone, I don't think it is some kind of move that is not thought through. They sure have their own negative aspects. But most of the time, it is proven to be actually a good solution that people need.


I can imagine further outrage when the cable itself is not included as well because Apple accessories are sold separately. So if you buy a charger, it does not come with the cable.


And do you know how much the USB-C cable is? Almost the same price as the wall plug charger! Now, if the cable is not included as well, I'd be furious and think that this is just unreasonable! I don't know about you, but I HATE buying Apple cables, they are just so expensive!



Other speculations also arrises such as Apple is being greedy or stingy by not providing a wall plug charger. I can't know for sure. A company's underlying intention is never clear, we will never know. I think if they wanted to be greedy or stingy, well, I don't see the problem IF they give a good product. I mean, what business is not stingy or greedy? The nature of business itself is you have to be greedy and stingy, right? This ain't a charity 😂


However, I do not completely agree with this no charger move as well, but with probably a different reason than most people.


Apple is reinforcing users to use their current charger. OK, that's fair.

But as far as I know, some of their accessories aren't that durable. I have seen many users posting their broken cable (I'm not a violent user yet my charging cable is already 'permanently' bent after 2 years 😭) and furthermore, their iPhone device itself is not that long-lasting. Maybe you can change the battery, maybe everything still works, but the iOS software itself won't support device older than several years. So you have no other option but to buy a new iPhone every, say, 6-8 years.


I think that if you really want to be environmentally friendly, I'd like products to be made to last first instead of getting rid of something. Make your accessories to be even more durable than ever and make iOS to support way older device, I think that would get major support for this no-charger or no-whatever-accessories move.



Weird Body?!


Image credit : Marques Brownlee

Another thing to note is how weird the body is, in my opinion. The iPhone 12 has a glass body on the back and some sort of matte aluminum on the sides while iPhone 12 pro has glass sides and matte steel on the back. I couldn't get my heads around to understand why this is created this way and I hope someone from Apple could tell us why. I get that iPhone 12 Pro is more expensive and should have better quality everything but I just keep wondering, "why don't make all body to be matte steel, then?"


I personally love the matte steel because I am so annoyed with the glass with my fingerprints all over it. So some other users who think like me might want to spend more and get the pro one to solve this problem. But with the glass still existing on the side...that's just not quite good. But since many will use the extra casing for their phone, I guess this is not a problem, then?


MagSafe Everything


I'd just like to say: I won't be buying anything MagSafe.

At first, when I saw that Apple introduces Magnetic accessories, I think that is just good for the wireless charger. And my thoughts were confirmed after seeing some influencers' videos of them using the MagSafe accessories. They don't seem to be that reliable, especially the MagSafe wallet. A serial Apple critic XavierNaxa also commented the same. I saw in the videos that MagSafe wallet sticks to the iPhone but since it is a magnet, it still can accidentally leave your phone when you put it in your pocket, which is a very common scenario.


Also, judging by the look of that MagSafe wallet that is supposed to be able to hold your cards, I kind of doubt the opening to insert your card. If the user only inserts 1 card, I don't know if that can hold it well as I have used several cardholders with the opening on the top and my cards fell down a few times when I turn it upside down. This might not be a common scenario, but I'd like the product to accommodate to probability as well. Still, since I have no idea how this works, this is just my doubt.


Another MagSafe accessory I want to talk about is the MagSafe wireless charger. I am not a big fan of wireless charger because I like to hold my phone and use it while I charge it. Not being able to use my phone while charging is just not a good idea for me (although it is a good practice to not use your phone while it's charging).



Image credit : the Verge

With the MagSafe wireless charger, you can actually still lift it up and move it around but the big round thing sticking on your phone is not good to hold when you are using your phone and usually a charger will have a bit of heat so this is also a no for me. I still prefer the cable at the bottom of my phone. Plus, the MagSafe wireless charger is slower than the 20W USB-C charger, so this is a major pass.


Furthermore, if you want to use all these accessories and wear a phone casing at the same time, you need to buy a special MagSafe casing! I don't wanna spend more money to spend more money! 😩


I truly doubt the whole MagSafe accessories, to be honest. I kind of feel like this is one of those accessories Apple designed that are...not interesting (to me).


However, I am curious what would happen if you place 2 iPhone 12 together on their backs 😂



Reduced Battery


(left to right) iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12

This is also something I am pretty disappointed with. Apple reduced the mAH of its battery compared to its latest iPhone 11. This decision is backed by the better chip and better iOS, but as a user, I would love to see an even more battery capacity with the bigger mAH, then the chip and the iOS is just some supportive aspects that can improve the battery capacity even more.


If you compare the tech specs of the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 11, they all last up to 17 hours, which are the same! Now, this is pretty disappointing. I don't think there is any good reason for this. Especially with the newly added functions that might consume more power, I'd like to enjoy all features with less charging.


What I am also afraid of is that iOS updates sometimes mess with the battery capacity. With such low mAH, this makes the iPhone 12 battery unreliable. Most of us only can try and see what happens. If I were you, I'd wait until there is iOS 15 and see how that affects the battery capacity of the iPhone 12.



Other Features: Outdated?!


People like to point out that all the other features iPhone 12 have is not new at all.


"A better camera, faster phone blah blah blah, not interesting."

"OLED screen? Android has that long time ago!"

"Only now they implement wireless charging? 🤔 "


These kinds of comment are heard pretty often every time there is a new iPhone launch so I am not surprised 😂


I am not really an Apple fan as I still think some of their design is kind of meh and I'd hate to back them up because..I don't work for them. I don't get anything out of worshipping them!


But I am honestly not that disappointed with Apple 'late' to implement any new functions because I prefer to enjoy product and features that are stable and not problematic instead of just it being new. So in my opinion, if it really takes them a long time to implement something considered outdated, that's reasonable.

Furthermore, Apple uses a completely different operating system with a completely different hardware mechanism, so it's not really a fair expectation to want Android and iOS to work and function the same way if you get what I mean...



Price


One thing I want to mention as well is that with the absence of accessories, Apple can now charge cheaper for their iPhones. They are priced at the starting of MYR3899. For an Apple phone and that spec, this is actually considered pretty affordable.


"I can buy 2 Android phones with better specs with that price!"


Of course, you should never compare an Apple to another Android device because if you think you should buy Android at that price, then you should.


It's as unreasonable to expect Windows OS to be cheap because Linux is free.


Apple has always had a generally higher price compared to any other brand. Their Macbook is crazy expensive, their Desktop computer is crazy expensive, their smartwatch is crazy expensive, and did I mention also their cable is crazy expensive?

*oh wait, I did, many times! 😂


As mentioned, with their different operating system and hardware mechanism, it's not that fair to expect them all to be priced the same.



Conclusion


Just like any other iPhone launches (except iPhone 11 launch which I think the least problematic post-Steve Jobs), this launch comes with an equal share of good and bad aspects.





But this does not make me less interested in buying the iPhone 12. Just that I would wait a little bit longer and hear way more reviews. I'd suggest you hold your urge to buy the new phone. I'd suggest to buy it in 2021. I think 2 months of people using this would gather lots of review and feedback to really perfect your decision.


What do you think? Are you buying the iPhone 12?


-Leni


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Leni Tjahjadi

Product Designer
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