Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns
Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in the box.
5G and Battery Life
DeMuro asked about the implications of 5G connectivity on the iPhone's battery life, to which Drance responded:
We're able to make a bunch of software optimizations throughout the entire system to make battery life even better, and on top of that we added a new feature called "Smart Data mode" that will allow you to manage your 5G usage and battery life a bit better, so you can use 5G speeds when it really matters, and then for places where maybe it doesn't matter as much it will revert to 4G LTE speeds to save your battery life. And then the last part of it that I think is really important is the work we've done with our carrier partners, working with them on their network settings, on their deployment plan, so they're also optimizing their settings together with iPhone to optimize for battery life.
Glass and Durability
Drance neglected to answer whether a screen protector is still needed with the new Ceramic Sheild front glass on iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. However, she did explain that the new flat-edged design aids drop protection and makes the iPhone more durable. Although the rear glass of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro does not use Ceramic Shield, Drance said that it still uses "the toughest glass available in a smartphone," which achieves "a 2x performance gain" against accidental drops.
When asked about the new MagSafe system and concerns about whether the magnets could deactivate cards, Drance admitted that some cards could be impacted by Magsafe:
We are taking care to make sure that we're being as protective as possible, and those credit cards, they're made with magnetic stripes that are pretty strong so that shouldn't be a problem next to next to your phone... what you do want to just watch out for is those single-use types of cards like the hotel cards... you might not want to put that right against that, but certainly, we've got great options like the wallet, the wallet is shielded.
iPhone Launch Day
DeMuro also asked about what customers can expect from the iPhone launch this year, and Drance emphasized the need for contactless delivery and ordering ahead for in-store pickups. She also said that walk-in customers should expect delays:
If you do show up as a walk-in... we may give you an appointment to come back at a later time, but certainly you may expect to wait a little longer because of occupancy in the stores and physical distancing... we may not be able to get everyone in as quickly as possible.
USB-C Power Cable Included in the Box
Lastly, DeMuro queried why Apple had still chosen to include a USB-C charging cable in iPhone boxes. Although he acknowledged that Apple has stopped including the power adapter with the iPhone for environmental reasons, he asked why Apple was including a USB-C cable when many customers will not have a USB-C power adapter, especially if they are coming from an older iPhone.
Interestingly, Drance suggested that users should continue to use their older Lightning cable if they do not have a USB-C power adapter, or perhaps even use a Mac laptop for charging.
So first of all of the iPhone 12 models, you can still use your old Lightning cables and any of those power adapters that work with that... any of those will still work, in fact we encourage you to still use those as well. Now, if you do need a new one... we did include a USB-C to lightning cable in the box. It's different because it's more modern, it's faster... now that can still be used with any USB-C power adapter, so where can you get one of those?
Well, you might already have one, if you have either another smartphone product or another consumer electronic product. In the past couple of years a lot of those have moved towards those type-C adapters... Now, if you're an Apple user and you happen to have a Mac or an iPad, we've also included those USB-C power adapters in recent years for those products, and the computer ports themselves include USB-C. So those are other options for you.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro is available from today, starting at $799 and $999 respectively.