In 2020, Apple redesigned the parts of iPhones and Macs you can’t see


If you look at Apple’s  new lineup of iPhones and Macs, you’ll probably struggle to see the difference from last year’s models. They’re roughly the same size and shape. This year’s iPhone 12 family is a bit boxier than 2019’s iPhone 11, though there is a new, smaller iPhone 12 Mini. The same goes for Mac exteriors. It’s hard to pinpoint changes. But inside, Apple has made some of the most significant alterations to its devices in years. And Apple watchers believe they’ll have lasting repercussions.



a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Apple's iPhone 12 may look like a regular iPhone at first glance. But there's more change than you think. Angela Lang/CNET


© Provided by CNET
Apple’s iPhone 12 may look like a regular iPhone at first glance. But there’s more change than you think. Angela Lang/CNET



a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Apple's iPhone 12 may look like a regular iPhone at first glance. But there's more change than you think.


© Angela Lang/CNET

Apple’s iPhone 12 may look like a regular iPhone at first glance. But there’s more change than you think.


Those changes are 5G wireless for the iPhone and the introduction of its own processor for the Mac. Apple has said these technologies will mean faster, more reliable connections for the iPhone and better battery life, performance and portability for Mac computers. The interior changes are designed to help Apple devices stand out from a sea of similar lower-profile aluminum and glass competitors.

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“Advancements of this magnitude only come from making bold changes,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during one of Apple’s events announcing the changes. “We’ve come so far for a device that’s so important to our daily lives,” he said at another.

Whether Apple’s right, and its big internal changes remake how we use its devices, is yet to be seen. Every Apple product has a typical cycle of leaks, hype and then tons of questions after its announcement. Did Apple change enough? Did it screw up by not including a specific technology, or making a long-requested change? Did it push too hard removing this or that feature?



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Analysts say anecdotal evidence suggests that Apple may have another hit on its hands with the new iPhones and Mac computers. Reviewers, including CNET’s Patrick Holland, said the iPhone 12 is one of the best phones out there. And Apple’s new $699 Mac Mini, $999 MacBook Air and $1,299 MacBook Pro powered by its new M1 chip performed as…

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