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Fast Charge: Making the iPhone 12 Pro Max ‘very different’ is a bad idea

Despite rumblings of potential delays most forecasts suggest it’s only a matter of weeks before we know all the details about Apple’s next flagship iPhone.

As a result, this week has seen a load of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro leaks, with the usually very reliable Bloomberg publishing a thorough breakdown of what we can expect from Apple in the run-up to the important holiday period.

The report covered iPads, Watches and, of course, the big one – the iPhone 12. We’ve also seen in recent weeks Apple-centric leaker Jon Prosser tease some 12 Pro features and some details about the 5G skills of the new phones.

One thing that has particularly stood out to me is that it looks like Apple might be reserving some of the very best features for the largest Pro Max model, more so than in recent years – and this is a very bad idea.

Rumours suggest the 6.7-inch Pro Max will be the only model with a 120Hz display – arguably one of the most wanted features on an iPhone and commonplace on just about every Android device, regardless of price. It could also be the only to pack the full mmWave 5G skills. mmWave isn’t an issue for us Brits yet, but it’s more common in the States and gives far faster 5G speeds than the sub-6 variety all the other iPhones will likely pack.

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In recent years Apple has managed to keep parity between its high-end devices, not forcing users to buy the bigger one if they wanted the very best. The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max have virtually the same feature set, so it’s up to you whether you want a bigger or a smaller phone. To me, that’s the way it should be.

If Apple does decide the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the one to get a 120Hz faster display or even quicker 5G, that instantly makes it the true ‘Pro’ device and the one those who want the very best will have to go for. It’s no longer just about size, but other varying factors too. I’ve complained in the past about how Android manufacturers focus purely on the Pro version, leaving the ‘regular’ version hamstrung and applauded Apple for not going the same way.

Of course, it’s far from confirmed that any of the iPhones will go beyond the 60Hz refresh rate we have today and 5G is still so much in its infancy that I can’t see many people buying this purely for that. But if these changes separate the Pro Max from the Pro this year, then it could be wider gulfs next year and that’s bad for those who don’t want a huge phone.

A slightly happier tidbit of news from the Bloomberg report is that it looks like Apple might do away with LCD completely and give even the cheapest iPhone 12 a far superior OLED panel. If this does turn out to be the case, then it’s great news and not something I expected to happen.

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