Earlier this week, Samsung announced its Galaxy S20 lineup. Jumping on the 5G bandwagon, the company has made sure that all the three different S20 variants support 5G. Apple also plans on doing something similar as it intends to launch all iPhone 12 models later this year with 5G. The launch of the Galaxy S20 gives us a good idea of some of the changes that Apple will have to make to its iPhone lineup this year as well due to 5G.
Rumors already point to Apple working on a major redesign of the iPhone 12 lineup. It also intends to expand the lineup by launching four different iPhone variants instead of three like it has done over the last couple of years. The smallest iPhone 12 variant will feature a 5.4-inch display. This will be followed by two 6.1-inch variants which will then be topped by a 6.7-inch variant. Compared to the existing iPhone lineup, Apple will be increasing the screen size of the ‘iPhone 12 Pro Max’ by 0.2-inches. Similarly, while the iPhone X, XS, and iPhone 11 Pro had a 5.8-inch display, Apple plans on bumping the display size to 6.1-inches for the iPhone 12 this year.
If one goes through Samsung’s Galaxy S20 lineup and compares it to the Galaxy S10, you will notice a similar trend. The smallest Galaxy S20 features a 6.2-inch display vs 6.1-inch on the Galaxy S10. Similarly, the Galaxy S20+ packs a 6.7-inch display – a 0.3-inch increase from the Galaxy S10+. As for the Galaxy S20 Ultra, it is a different beast entirely with a screen size of 6.9-inch making it bigger than even the Galaxy Note 10+. Samsung had a Galaxy S10e last year as well with a 5.8-inch display but its successor is nowhere to be found this year.
So, why the jump in screen size? 5G can be blamed partially for this.
The Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra feature mmWave 5G connectivity which requires the antenna modules to be placed right at the edge of the device. This requires additional internal space and can be one of the reasons behind Samsung increasing the display size across the board for the Galaxy S20 series and Apple doing something similar with the iPhone 12 series later this year. mmWave might offer gigabit download speeds but it is incredibly easy to block and one must be in direct line of the mmWave module to get the incredible speeds that it promises.
The regular Galaxy S20 only saw a minor 0.1-inch bump in its screen size compared to its predecessor, but then it lacks support for mmWave 5G. It only supports sub-6GHz 5G, with Samsung and Verizon on another Galaxy S20 variant with mmWave support due to launch in Q2 2020.
The iPhone 12 lineup is going to be expensive
Another thing that stands out about the Galaxy S20 series is the pricing. While the Galaxy S10+ topped out at $999, the Galaxy S20 starts from $999 in the US. The Galaxy S20+ is even more expensive at $1,199 while the S20 Ultra costs a wallet-busting $1,399. The price increase across the board can be attributed to the introduction of 5G and the additional components and antenna modules that it requires. This is something that we saw with flagship phones in 2019 as well as their 5G variant was notably more expensive than the 4G version. Reputed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has already said that iPhone 12 is going to be more expensive due to increased component costs thanks to the addition of 5G.
The rumor of Apple launching four different iPhone 12 variants this year makes a lot of sense when one considers the jump in screen size and price tag. The four different models will help Apple cater to a wider audience and justify the price bump. What remains to be seen though is how Apple will price the iPhone 12 in markets where 5G networks are yet to launch.
Will you buy the iPhone 12 if Apple increases the prices? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.