As previously announced, Apple has begun shipping orders of the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and redesigned iPad Air, with the first orders arriving today. This is the launch day for all three products, and new orders are no longer considered preorders on Apple's website. The products are also available in Apple's retail stores today.
Note, though, that today marks the day the first preorders are ending up in consumers' hands. Shortly after these products went on sale, shipping dates for new online orders began to creep beyond the release date and into November. And at the time of this writing, new orders of the iPhone 12 Pro models are shipping in the United States between November 13 and 20, Apple's website says, and the iPhone 12 is shipping between November 2 and 4. The iPad Air is shipping sometime between November 12 and 18.
Apple has yet to begin shipping the smallest and largest new iPhone models—the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. Only the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are going out today. The other sizes will be available in November, Apple says, along with the new HomePod mini smart speaker.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are major redesigns of the iPhone, after recent iPhones generally followed the model set by the iPhone X in 2017. This year's phones have flat edges like the iPhone 4 and 5 of yesteryear, as well as support for 5G wireless networks. They also have improved camera features and faster internals (especially where machine learning is concerned).
For the first time since Apple split its lineup between high-end and less-high-end phones, the lower-end option features an OLED screen with only subtly poorer specs than those found in the most expensive phones. The 12 Pro is instead differentiated with an extra camera lens (telephoto), a lidar sensor, additional photography features, and more expensive materials.
The new iPad Air starts at $599, available beginning in October 2020.
The iPad Air is also a big redesign, though it adheres fairly closely to the edge-to-edge screen look introduced with recent iPad Pro models. It's a major step up over the previous iPad Air, such that many reviewers have questioned the value of the iPad Pro pending a major update to that product (which will likely come next spring).
iPhone 12 prices range from $799 to $979, depending on specification (mainly storage). The 12 Pro goes for between $999 and $1,299. The iPad Air starts at $599 and goes up to $849. We have all three devices on hand and expect to publish our reviews next week.