iPhone 12 launch event as it happened: here's everything announced

Apple's big launch is over, and we've now got the five new devices we expected. Firstly, we saw the Homepod mini, which is going to be $99 and coming mid-November to finally bring Apple into the smart home fully... if the plan works.

Then we saw four new iPhones, all enabled with multi-band 5G (and heard a lot about how great 5G is, and how it's going to change the way we use iPhones).

What are said iPhones? Well, there's the iPhone 12 mini, the smaller brother of the iPhone 12 - both have the A14 chipset, but have a 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch screen on the front, with a new, tough Ceramic Shield screen and a magnet on the back for new cases, a magnetic wireless charger and other accessories in the future.

Then we got the iPhone 12 Pro duo - the 'normal' iPhone 12 Pro will have the same A14 chipset, but with a more premium finish than the main iPhone 12 and other colors too. The camera is upgraded, but nowhere near as much as on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which packs a larger sensor and can capture low-light like no other iPhone before.

On top of that, the Pro range can record and process Dolby Vision HDR on the go, thanks to the upgraded chipset... well, you can read all about it properly here:

All times are in Pacific Standard Time (PST)

11:08 - Tim is saying goodbye, telling me (personally, I assume) to have a great day... we're flying away from the Apple Campus now. That's it, done.

11:07 - Back to Tim now, think we're nearly done. Recapping what happened. Part of me is waiting for 'One More Thing'... but we know that's not going to happen. It hasn't for years, but we all want that extra little bit at the end that surprises us.

Actually not today. I need to go and lie on my face.

11:05 - Here comes the prices: 128GB on the Pro for $999 - and $1099 for the Pro Max. You can pre-order from this Friday, October 16, and out on October23. Wait, that's the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, but the iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max... the more interesting devices, you'd say, are coming on Nov 13, with pre-order alongside the Homepod mini on November 6.

I think I've got that right. It's so confusing.

(Image credit: Apple)

11:03 - Now we're seeing the video of how great the iPhone 12 Pro is. The new design, tigher borders, 5G that will change the world, Ceramic Shield on the front, the A14 chipset inside, a new Pro camera system (and even more on the iPhone 12 Max with the bigger sensor... that's the phone many will want).

The LiDAR sensor really does show how good a night-mode portrait can be with this extra capability, and how the device can also be a great part of the movie-maker's arsenal.

(Image credit: Apple)

11:01 - Now we're back to how good 5G is going to be - how professionals will need this capability. A medical professional can download a critical medical record in seconds, rather than minutes... it'll be interesting to see how often that would be used.

Now, this is more relevant - being able to map the environment of a space and allow architects or facility managers to design things in hours, rather than weeks.

(Image credit: Apple)

10:59 - Right, onto LiDAR. It had better be the start of a properly useful slew of AR apps - the LiDAR scanner on the iPad Pro 2020 wasn't really that impressive because there aren't many apps to use it.

The sensor will allow lowlight autofocus too, up to 6x faster... that will be useful, as well as low-light portrait mode. I've felt like LiDAR scanner should have been here last year - how good will it be?

(Image credit: Apple)

10:57 - The iPhone 12 Pro is able to process this on the fly - and we're watching a video to see how good it is. So far, very good. Hearing how you have to rent so much equipment to make it happen. You can shoot the whole movie on an iPhone, and you can take it to places where equipment might be too heavy.

The video still feels a little like it's shot on a phone, but the static shots do look impressive. Dolby Vision is a key part of this phone being able to record, edit and watch on one device.

(Image credit: Apple)

10:55 - Now we're seeing some great images with the new iPhone 12 Pro Max... as you'd expect. But we're onto video, and how people are using the phone as a studio... pointing out how studios have used phones to continue streaming.

10-bit HDR is coming to video now, to make even more people want to use iPhones in place of a standard camera. It can even record in Dolby Vision HDR, meaning the iPhone has to grade in 4K, 60fps frame by frame in real time. And Apple says it can.

(Image credit: Apple)

10:54 - The file is computed at time of capture, with all four cameras... yeah, four. They've not mentioned the fourth sensor, assume Apple means the LiDAR sensor, not the front-facing sensor.

Seeing how the image can be rendered in Photoshop or in the Photos app itself. Apple is calling it 'the best of both worlds'... wonder why there's just no RAW mode on the phone?

(Image credit: Apple)

10:52 - The OIS can make 5000 adjustments per second as well, meaning that you're getting a big increase in the clarity of images and videos. The Pro Max is more 'Pro' than the 'Pro'... if you get me.

Now we're hearing about something that combines the power of RAW with computational photography - ProRAW.

That sounds like a lion.

10:51 - There's a 61mm telephoto lens on the Pro Max, giving a 5x optical zoom range now. There's a large wide camera, an f/1.6 aperture and improved optical stabilization... plus a much larger sensor, which means 87% in low light capability.

That could be pretty massive.

(Image credit: Apple)

10:49 - Deep Fusion being talked up again here - guessing that this will be on the phone as standard this time, rather than coming later. There's an Ultrawide 12MP camera, a wide camera with the same f/1.6 aperture lens, and a telephoto camera with f/2.0 aperture... all a bit upgraded, but no new massive camera lens upgrade. But the iPhone 12 Pro Max there's something more...

10:47 - Greg Jozwiak in the house now, talking up the new premium materials - there's graphite, white, gold and 'Pacific Blue' - and the gold is REALLY gold.

They're coming with Ceramic Shield and better IP68 rating... these are durable. And, of course, come with the MagSafe technology. There's a 6.1-inch display on the main Pro, but Pro Max 6.7-inch display is larger than ever again.

The A14 chipset is in there as well - how much more powerful will it be? 

(Image credit: Apple)

10:46 - And that's just half the story, says Tim Cook. Here come the Pro models.

I am so tired, let me just sleep. Wait, they do look nice though. Three cameras, definitely LiDAR in there... the iPhone 12 Pro is here.

10:45 - Well, it's only going to be $699 for the iPhone 12 mini, and $799 for the main iPhone 12. If you trade in an old phone, you can get the new iPhone 12 mini and 'normal' for $12/month or $15/month.

10:42 - It's the smallest and lightest 5G phone in the world - and apart from the size, battery and screen size (5.4-inches, and I think a slightly less sharp display at 476ppi (I have forgotten the first spec though) it's identical. That is a small phone indeed - it's clearly going to be far more expensive than the iPhone SE.

The iPhone 12 mini

The iPhone 12 mini (Image credit: Apple)

10:39 - We're on the roof of the Apple Campus now, to hear how environmentally friendly Apple is going to be. The brand is promising to have no environmental impact by 2030 - which is a big thing.

Oh wait, here it comes again. Here's why Apple is getting rid of the EarPods and charging blocks from the iPhone box, so it can avoid the envronmental impact.

It's hard to know if Apple is passing the savings to the consumer here - but it does remove 2 million tonnes of carbon per year, which is apparently the same as removing 450,000 cars from the road.

WHOA WAIT - there's not going to be a new USB-A cable in the box - it'll be the newer USB-C charger. Most people won't have that block... that's less than ideal.

Oh, here's the iPhone 12 mini. I was wrong.

10:37 - There's now 15W inside so you can get faster charging, and there are seven layers into the iPhone so you can either land on the charger perfectly, or the iPhone can even work out the level of quality of magnetic strength too.

(Image credit: Apple)

Oh, there was a charger that could charge the Apple Watch and iPhone 12 together - there's been a lot here - and I know I've missed some on MagSafe for iPhone... but  was that the 'son of AirPower' we've been waiting for?

10:36 - Another rumor is true - there is a magnetic back to the iPhone! It's using Magsafe for the iPhone - like they used to use on Macs.

(Image credit: Apple)

10:35 - Now we're talking about video recording - there's night mode time lapse coming, with loads of extra features if you're using a tripod especially. We're seeing videos taken with an iPhone 12 only, and the night mode, time lapse and color reproduction is, as you can imagine... high.

Apple always does a great job of making you feel like 'I could do that' - the definition of making things aspirational.... oooh wait, wireless charging!

10:33-  There's a 12MP camera on there, and a wider 12MP camera too, as well as a wide f/1.6 aperture photo, and a seven layer lens for even better low light quality of snapping.

Computational photography is being used as well, part of the neural engine, to bring out more power from the iPhone's snapper.

All iPhone 12 cameras, whether it's normal, wide or the front-facing camera. That's pretty good indeed.

10:31 - Kaiann has said that, once again, the iPhone is capable of console quality gaming - and it's tied in with League of Legends, and has brought in Michael Chow, from Riot Games, so it can bring the League of Legends Wild Rift to the mobile experience.

(Image credit: Apple)

But we've been promised console quality graphics for years now - but consoles just KEEP GETTING BETTER.

Smartphone brands are making a big deal of 5G being the thing that enables mobile gaming, but will that actually be the case?

10:30 - The neural engine has 16 cores now, so the machine learning to work out what you're trying to do, see or look for is much, much more powerful.

10:28- We're going to the secret chip lab to hear about the A14 chipset inside it - Hope is inside, but it looks a little like she's a prisoner in there, such is the security to get in.

Probably not. She's pretty jazzed about the new 5nm tech inside, which will make it 50% faster than any smartphone chipset out there. And it's also got the fastest GPU in any smartphone too - 50% more than any other.

10:27 - Apple has been 5G testing with over 100 carriers in multiple regions, and has managed 3.5Gbps in perfect conditions.

There's a lot of convincing that 5G is good - this feels like Apple trying to convince the world that it's worth the investment.

10:25 - Let's go back to 5G, and we're in the anechoic chamber where Apple is testing the signal for 5G... and it says that it's including more 5G bands than any other smartphone so you can connect to more standards than ever.

It'll also have smart data mode, so when you don't need 5G, it'll fall back to 4G.

(Image credit: Apple)

10:24 - There's a new material for the screen - and it's called Ceramic Shield. It's worked with Corning to achieve it, and it's 'tougher than any smartphone glass'.

Apple is claiming four times better drop performance. That basically means I can drop it four times more before I have to get it replaced.

10:22 It's got a 6.1-inch display, but in a small footprint than the iPhone 11, with antennas moved to get the best out of 5G, it's got a higher-res display than the previous model, thanks to the Super XDR display, and it's coming with 1200nits.

That means nearly all the HDR compatibility is covered - including Dolby Vision.

(Image credit: Apple)

10:21 - Which one is this? It's got four colors... no, five! Red, blue, green, cream... wait what? It's iPhone 12, anyway. And here's Kaiann Drance to tell us about it.

All the leaks were true - we're back to the older, flat design. Can't say I hate that - it looks great.

The colors: black, white, red, blue and green. It wasn't cream.

10:19 - Now we're hearing how the networks will be spreading out further across the country, as it's turning on the nationwide coverage, hitting 200m Americans. Seems like that should already have been there if you're going to pay loads for a new iPhone, no?

'5G just got real' again... it is indeed a tipping point that Apple has it. And it'll be coming to 'all the iPhones' today. Let's see the first one.

(Image credit: Apple)

10:18 - Seeing how you can watch multiple camera angles at NFL over its stadiums over the course of the season, but we've heard this many times over the years. What is Apple doing differently?

Verizon has partnered with Apple and another gaming company - which we'll hear about later? That's weird.

10:16 - Now we're hearing how the iPhone will be able to access Verizon's mmWave 5G speeds, highlighting how you can get over 4Gbps downloads speeds, and 200Mbps upload speeds.

It's not about speed though - 5G can do so much more, but we're only hearing about that. Wait, no - the capacity too, and that's key. That's what we'll be caring about - using a phone at high-capacity areas.

(Image credit: Apple)

10:15 - This is the new era for iPhone...  you've guessed it, 5G to the iPhone. Let's find out now how massive it's going to be now Apple has decided it's ready - much like when it launched an OLED screen.

Talking about the speed, the network capability, and again privacy, because you won't need shonky hotspots.

5G is 'the most exciting step yet', apparently.

10:14 - Right, we're talking iPhone. That's what we're here for, Tim. 

homepod mini

(Image credit: Apple)

10:13 - That's a pretty good price - I never thought Apple would go below $100, but that's the the price to entice multiple purchases. But can it compete with the Echo Dot or Google Nest Mini, which are far, far cheaper and easy to place around the house?

10:12 - we're back to Bob again. Talking about privacy and security. Apple is making it clear that only 'Hey Siri' will activate the speaker, and they're not associated with your Apple ID, and you can choose if the recordings are saved.

HomePod mini will only cost $99 - pre-order November 6, you can get it November 16. Will this be a Black Friday winner?

(Image credit: Apple)

10:10 - As expected, you can connect your smarthome to Siri... wait, this is nothing new at here. We're basically hearing about Siri, not the new Homepod mini.

Clearly the desire here is to get multiple Homepods around the house, so the cost is going to be all important.

We're getting Intercom this year, so you can talk to any Siri-enabled device, so iPads, iPhone or CarPlay - and they'll even play on AirPods. That's cool.

10:08 - Now we're hearing from Yael to hear how great the new HomePod mini is going to be, how Siri is so integrated with your iPhone.

I'm not entirely sure that Siri is the best voice assistant with your iPhone - the amount of times I've asked it to turn off the lights and it to decide it can't do it, is frustrated.

Looks to me that Apple is making some big upgrades here to make then range of commands on show actually work.

Homepod Mini

(Image credit: Apple)

10:07 - Later in the year, the UltraWide band capabilities of the new iPhone (or your current phone) to handoff just by holding your phone nearby.

Oooh, it'll be playing Pandora and Amazon music soon, Apple has just confirmed... but not Spotify!

Homepod Mini

(Image credit: Apple)

10:06 - We're having some image issues at the moment, folks - we'll show you what it looks like soon.

Back to the new HomePod - there's computational audio onboard to be able to intellgently play back sound and speak to each other.

10:04 - The new HomePod mini is being shown off by Bob... sorry, I missed Bob. He lives in a small house by the HomePod, apparently.

He's telling us the new HomePod mini has amazing sound, an intelligent assistant, and with a backlit top display.

10:02 - Straight in - here's a product for the home coming in. It's going to be the HomePod Mini, right?

Three things a product must be, says Cook - easy to use, seamless to connect and be secure, because you should be in control of your personal data. 

He's now calling the HomePod a 'breakthrough' speaker, because it interacts with Siri. So today, we're seeing this for 'more people' - the newest edition of the HomePod family.

(It's totally the HomePod mini that was shown off today, a little sphere that lights up at the top).

10:00 - Now we're looking at the Apple campus with lovely energetic music, drone footage flying over it, heading down to the Steve Jobs Theater where we have... Tim Cook!

09:57 - I know it will elicit zero sympathy, but there have been some steaming keyboards in tech journalism today. Writing all about forthcoming launches, about things that you might want to buy, then this happening. The TechRadar team has been phenomenal today, so if you ever see them, do doff a cap. They're honestly nice.

Oh my, this live stream music is sending me to sleep. This isn't what I need.

09:54 - Right, I've downed a cup of tea. Back in the game. Now, this iPhone 12 Mini business - I'm still certain it won't be called that, but nearly all the leakers are saying that it will.

It would be an odd, odd thing to launch so close to the iPhone SE 2020 -  but then again, I still thought there was no way in hell that Apple would call it an iPad (I mean, say the word without knowing it was real) so what do I know eh?

09:47 - Hey everyone, it's Gareth. I'm back on the, er, mic... taking over from the lovely James Peckham. He does all the hard work, I cruise in for the glory.

I won't lie to you all, I'm very, very tired. I've been up for about 20 hours already working on bringing you all excellent Prime Day coverage, and it's been intense. 

Who knew so many things could be discounted... it's hard to work out what's good and not. The upshot? I'm misspelling most of my words, I'm so tired I think I can see inside my own eyeballs, and I can't remember what we're here for.

Better read TechRadar's excellent iPhone 12 release date, price, news and leaks hub to fill myself in.


09:45 - In the normal times, we'd be expecting Tim Cook to be limbering up at the side of a stage at Apple HQ. Instead, he's now probably just watching this pre-recorded event go ahead at home.

09:35 - With a little while left to go until the big event, we thought we'd remind you what we're expecting to see at the big launch event.

  • iPhone 12 mini- The smallest iPhone in the range, and likely the cheapest as well. The name is uncertain at the moment, but many leaks point to this moniker.
  • iPhone 12 - Similar specs to the iPhone 12 mini, this is expected to be the device that replaces the iPhone 11 as the option for most people who don't want top-end tech.
  • iPhone 12 Pro - A LiDAR scanner and maybe a 120Hz refresh rate screen are the rumored upgrades for those willing to spend more on the Pro variant.
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max - As in recent years, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is expected to be the same spec as the previous phone but with a larger screen and battery.
  • Apple HomePod 2 - A new smart speaker from the company that improves on sound quality and a few other features.
  • Apple HomePod Mini - A smaller version of the existing smart speaker from the company, and it's likely to have a much lower price too
  • Apple AirTags - A constant rumor for events like this, but these are location tracks that allow you to track items like your keys or purse directly from your phone.
  • Apple AirPods Studio - Apple's first over-ear AirPods product that have been rumored for a while, and they may be unveiled later today.
  • Beats Powerbeats Pro 2 - Another pair of headphones designed by Apple, and these may be an alternative to traditional AirPods products.

09:25 - Only half an hour left to go, so you'll likely want to know how to tune into the event. We'd obviously recommend following along with our live blog at the same time though.

08:30 - Looking to see what the new iPhone 12 range looks like? You've come to the right place as the entire series of devices have just leaked online hours ahead of the actual launch.

The below shot comes from Evan Blass (a leaker with a good track record) who has shared renders of all four phones.

iPhone 12 leak

(Image credit: Evan Blass / Voice)

Want to know more? We've written a whole news story on the latest leak that you can find here.

Apple's AirTags are supposedly Tile-like accessories

Apple's AirTags are supposedly Tile-like accessories (Image credit: Tile)

07:45 - We’ve been expecting the Apple AirTags for some time, and since they weren’t revealed at September Apple Event, its follow-up in October is the next chance we’ll see Apple’s take on Tile-like tracker accessories. It might have been the plan all along, as a leak suggested a dedicated AirTags app would be part of iOS 14, which users have already had the chance to download.

We’ve heard some rumors of how the devices will work – much like Tile, you’ll allegedly be able to track an AirTag (and ergo, whatever it’s clipped to, like keys or a bag) through an iOS app. 

But rumors point to other tracking capabilities, like AR capabilities that let users point their cameras around to find digital balloons, which represent misplaced AirTags that are in range of your iPhone. But what if it’s out of range? The rumored ‘Lost Mode’ uses other iPhones as a mesh network to ping the lost AirTag.

airpods studio

(Image credit: Curved)

06:53 - Apple's online stores removed speakers and headphones from third-party sellers, which hinted that it was paving the way for its own higher-end Apple AirPods Studio to drop.

We've heard a bit about the over-ear headphones' design, with mock-ups showing a metal frame and heavy pads around the ear cups and padding on the headband. We've also noted some details about potential features they'll be metal with magnetic ear cups, but no headphone jack – they'll be mainly wireless, with a USB-C port. 

While some sources had claimed the headphones were landing on October 13, Jon Prosser - a Twitter leaker - has said the product won't be unveiled at the event so don't get too excited about the reveal.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max

The iPhone 11 Pro Max (Image credit: Future)

06:18 - The two higher-tier iPhone 12 models following up on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are, unsurprisingly, rumored to be called the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

The differences in 2020? This year’s models are supposedly getting bigger: the iPhone 12 Pro may get a 6.1-inch display (up from the 5.8-inch screen on its predecessor) and the iPhone 12 Pro Max could get a 6.7-inch display (from the 6.5-inch screen). 

While all iPhone 12 models should get the same rumored A14 Bionic chipset, other predictions set the two Pro models apart with more RAM (4GB for standard, 6GB for higher-end), 120Hz refresh rate displays, as well as three rear cameras and a LiDAR depth scanner. The iPhone 12 base models may only get two rear cameras. 

Lastly, it’s unclear if 5G is coming to all models or only some, but if it’s the latter, you can bet the Pro models will be the only ones supporting the faster next-gen networks.

06:14 - The Apple Store is now down, as is tradition ahead of Apple launches. Often the company removes its store for the hours ahead of the event so it can revamp it with the new products we expect today.

(Image credit: Apple)

05:08 - Let's start off looking at the two more affordable, and perhaps for that reason best selling, members of the rumored iPhone 12 family. The most recent rumors suggest we'll be seeing two successors to the standard iPhone 11 as the ‘affordable flagship’ models of the new line. They look like they will offer size differences rather than different specs. 

The smaller phone, rumored to be called the iPhone 12 Mini, will have a 5.4-inch display, while the larger version, likely called simply the iPhone 12, will have a 6.1-inch screen. And unlike the iPhone 11’s LCD display, this year’s standard screens will be OLED.

The only difference between the two standard versions, rumors suggest, could be battery size – a bigger phone means more room to expand capacity – but the much smaller iPhone 12 Mini could appeal to small phone aficionados. 

It’s unclear how its size will compare with the smallest current iPhone, the new iPhone SE 2020, but it will definitely be the version in the iPhone 12 series for consumers who don’t need huge phones.

04:06 - What should you expect to see today? Below we're going to run you through the main rumors, and then over the next few hours we'll dive into each in a little more detail as well.

It's unlikely we'll see all of the above unveiled today, but we're expecting at least half of those products to be on show at Apple's virtual launch. Which one are you most excited about? Reply to the tweet below with your answers.

See more

03:09 - Well, the day is finally here. Apple is about to introduce yet more new gadgets, having unveiled the Apple Watch 6, Apple Watch SE, new iPad and iPad Air 4 less than a month ago.

What do we expect to see? The big headliner is the iPhone 12, which this year is expected to come in four variants for the first time. Expect 5G compatibility on at least some of the models, new designs and improved rear cameras.

Throughout today we'll be sharing leaks and rumors that we've heard about all the products, as well as running you through what we're expecting to see unveiled later today in detail.

And, of course, you'll want to be here when it all kicks off, and we ramp up this live blog with as many updates as we can humanly pack in during the event.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.