iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max pre-approvals underway — what that means

iPhone 12 mini
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple starts taking orders for both the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini on Friday (Nov. 6). That means if you’re a member of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, you can now apply for pre-approval to speed up your purchase later this week.

One of the highlights of the iPhone Upgrade Program is that upgrading your phone becomes a lot easier. Instead of a trip to the store or a lot of data entry when you’re trying to lock down your iPhone pre-order, you can select a phone, choose the correct carrier, and simply be approved for a loan long ahead of the phone's street date. Think of it as getting all your ducks in a row prior to Friday’s pre-sale event.

Right now, the iPhone Upgrade Program pricing for the iPhone 12 mini starts at $35.33 a month for 24 months. The much larger, heftier iPhone 12 Pro Max goes for $54.08 when you sign up for the iPhone Upgrade Program.  If that sounds agreeable to you and you've gone through the preapproval process successfully, you can go line up your pre-order for either phone to confirm everything once Apple starts taking orders at 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT on Nov. 6.

If those prices sound higher than the $29.12 and $45.79 monthly payments you were expecting for the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, respectively, remember that the iPhone Updgrade Program bakes the cost of Apple Care Plus into your monthly payment. It also gives you the right to upgrade to a new iPhone after 12 months of payments.

The two models available for preapproval are on the extreme ends of the spectrum, at least for iPhone buyers. You get both the smallest and the largest of the 2020 crop with this set of preorders. 

The iPhone 12 mini is the most compact version of all the iPhone 12 models. It offers a 5.4-inch OLED display, Apple's new A14 Bionic chipset, 5G connectivity, and a dual-lens rear camera, all for $699. That makes it $100 less than the regular iPhone 12. Like that phone, the iPhone 12 mini comes in Black, White, Red, Green, and Blue, while weighing just 4.76 ounces.

On the other end, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the largest iPhone 12 model. It features a 6.7-inch OLED screen, the A14 Bionic chipset, 5G connectivity, and a LiDAR scanner with a powerful camera array. Like the iPhone 12 Pro, it comes in four colors: Silver, Graphite, Gold, and Pacific Blue. 

A week after pre-orders begin, the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max reach stores on Nov. 13.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.