Technology

Apple is launching pre-orders for its subsequent crop of latest iPhones, the HomePod Sensible Speaker

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The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max will be presented during a virtual product launch.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple began taking orders on Friday for the last two iPhone 12 models announced in October, including the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini. The new HomePod Mini smart speaker can also be ordered for $ 99.

This is the first year that Apple has introduced four different iPhone models at the same time. The iPhone 12 / iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max / iPhone 12 Mini launches were split between October and November. The delay from a traditional iPhone launch in September was attributed to the continued spread of the coronavirus.

IPhone sales were down 20.7% year-over-year in Apple's fourth quarter, mainly because the new iPhones were not yet available for purchase. Investors won't know how popular the latest devices are until they announce their results for the first quarter of 2021.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $ 1,099 and has the largest display ever on an iPhone. It packs in some extra features over the regular $ 999 iPhone 12 Pro, such as: B. Better camera performance in low light. The iPhone 12 Mini offers many of the same features as the regular iPhone 12, but in a smaller form factor that may appeal to more people who don't want a big phone. It's the cheapest new option and starts at $ 699.

However, after Apple's October event, some analysts said Apple hasn't done a good enough job to explain why consumers should buy the more expensive Pro models over the regular iPhone 12. CNBC said this was the model most people should buy.

"Over the past phone cycles, we feel that AAPL is a strong argument why tech-savvy consumers should be interested in the high-end solution (iPhone X in 2017, iPhone XS in 2018, iPhone 11 Pro in 2018 2019), but we do not believe such a case was brought forward just as strongly in 2020, "Deutsche Bank analysts said in a statement in October.

The HomePod mini speaker could help Apple compete more effectively against Amazon and Google in the smart speaker market. The original HomePod is still $ 299, but it is way more expensive than the under $ 99 price you can pay for an Amazon Echo or Google Nest speaker. It has Siri built in that allows you to ask for the weather, directions, and more.

The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Mini will hit stores on November 13, and the HomePod Mini will hit stores on November 16.

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Katherine Clark