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How Apple is navigating iPhone 12 physical sales amid COVID-19

Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous, Brian Sozzi, and Dan Howley discuss how Apple is changing up the way it’s selling iPhones amid COVID-19.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: It's a big day for Apple fans. The new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are now on sale, but the company is changing up the way it sells the device to people to ensure social distancing. Our tech editor, Dan Howley, has the scoop here. So Dan, it's been a while since there have been long lines outside an Apple store for a new iPhone, but you're saying that it's definitely not going to be happening with the iPhone 12. Why?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, there's no way that that's going to happen. Basically, Apple has a plan in place for if you want to go to the store. They've already been offering pickup times where, you know, if you want to buy an Apple device, you can set a pickup time so that you can show up at the store, and they can kind of, you know, make sure that there's not too many people around. When I was buying my Apple Watch, that was an option. I just got it delivered, because it was just easier.

So what you can do is you can go to the store. You're likely going to have to separate yourself by six feet, which you know, you should be doing now just as a matter of course, but they're not going to allow as many people inside the stores as you might suspect. So there's going to be a lot of, you know, kind of waiting around outside. And then I think, you know, for most people, the best bet, is look, yeah, it's not going to be great that you might have to wait a little bit to get it delivered, but just get it delivered.

I mean, you know, if you're one of lucky few that preordered it, you're probably getting it today. If you're ordering it today and you're going to be getting it delivered, you might have to wait a while. But it's much better than having to deal with the experience of going into the store and waiting around and, you know, potentially putting yourself at risk, really.

Outside of the Apple store, I got to tell you, you can look at places like Best Buy, like Target, the carrier stores, they'll have the phones as well. So I think, you know, yes, you don't get the same customer service experience that you might get at an Apple store, but at least you'll still get the phones in your hands that day, so or perhaps that day. There's no guarantee really, especially with this phone. But I think, you know, it's a shame that it's not the same experience. I know there's a lot of people that enjoy it, but my suggestion would be just order it online or check out one of the other stores that's not an Apple store if you really want to get the phone.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah, if I'm dropping $1,200 on one of these 5G iPhones, I won't be coddled. I want to be felt important. I'm going to the Apple store. But I do want to ask you about pricing, and Alexis brought this up at our morning meeting, and highlighted some of the pricing is starting to get very competitive. Talk to us about this.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, I mean, look, so the new iPhones they started 699 and 999 each. That's for the iPhone 12 and for the iPhone 12 Pro. Now, Apple still hasn't made the iPhone 12 Mini or the iPhone 12 Max available. Those are the top-- the bottom line and the top line. So it's your entry level for the Mini and your top of the line with the Max.

You know, I mean, I think as far as the pricing goes, the Mini and the base iPhone at 699 are a great price, especially when you think that the SE is there as well still. You're really going to get a lot of bang for your buck. And then, you know, the thing to remember is look, this isn't like it used to be with other manufacturers where you would have, OK, here's-- or computers, right? Laptops, where you would say, OK, here's your top of the line product, here's your entry level product, here's where all the good stuff is. We put junk in this one, figure it out yourself.

If you want to, you know, get the best, you're going to have to pay up. If you want something to get out the door and not have to spend a lot, you're going to get the junk one. What Apple did was put all of the same components into each of these phones outside of, you know, a telephoto lens on the Pro line, but you're still going to get OLED displays on the entire lineup. You're still going to get that new nano ceramic crystal display that makes the screen, according to Apple, four times sturdier. You're still going to have really great water protection, and the processor is the same all across the board, so you can't go wrong with any of them.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, Dan Howley, thanks for bringing us up to speed on how to buy that iPhone 12. Have a good weekend.