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Here’s when the new iPhone is tipped to launch

5 min read
Here’s when the new iPhone is tipped to launch

The iPhone 15 release date is coming up soon. Rumors have already given us a firm date for the Apple September event, and if history repeats itself then the phones themselves should arrive not long after.

You can understand why a lot of people are pretty eager to figure out when the iPhone 15 might arrive, right down to the very first shipping date. Even if you don’t actually want one, the latest iPhones tend to set the tone across the rest of the smartphone market. Everyone is interested to see what new features Apple does, or doesn’t, introduce.

And, on a more practical level, Apple sticking to it’s normal release scheduling can give us an idea of how the global supply chains are humming along. Fortunately, we’re not expecting any delays this year and the iPhone 15 should arrive right around the usual release date for Apple phones.

Here’s our best guess right now about the iPhone 15 release date, based on various reports heading up to launch.

iPhone 15 release date: When previous iPhones have launched

This will be the 17th year that Apple has released a smartphone, so we have some lengthy history to draw on when it comes to pinpointing an iPhone release date. All the way back in 2007, Apple previewed the original iPhone in January ahead of the device’s June launch. But after that, Apple fell into a pattern where its flagship iPhones started coming out in the fall.

The iPhone SEs have been notable exceptions to that rule — the three SE models we’ve seen so far were all released in spring.

Here’s a look at the last eight years of flagship iPhone releases, dating back to the debut of the iPhone 6s series in 2015. In addition to the date of Apple’s launch event for each iPhone announcement, we’ve also included the actual release dates — that’s a key distinction as sometimes Apple has staggered its iPhone roll-outs.

As you can see, one month in particular seems to be Apple’s favorite for announcing its new phones. With the exception of 2020 — a year affected by the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic — Apple has announced the latest iPhone in September. And not just at random points in September — those iPhone announcements have all come within the first two weeks of the month.

As for release dates, there’s a noticeable pattern there, too. Apple tends to ship its phones 10 days after announcing them, though there are notable exceptions. Sometimes, Apple staggers the launch of specific models like the iPhone XR in 2018 and the iPhone X the prior year. Generally, staggered launches reflect supply issues with particular models — something that could also be an issue in 2023.

iPhone 15 release date: What the rumors claim

Early 2023 brought us our first iPhone 15 release date rumor. Jeff Pu, analyst for Haitong International, said his sources in Apple’s supply chain were pointing to a September 23 release for the iPhone 15. That day falls on a Saturday this year, and Apple phones typically hit retail shelves on Fridays. Adjusting for time zones, it’s possible that Apple may be eyeing September 22 as the day its new phones go on sale should you put any stock into Pu’s estimated release date.

A subsequent report in 9to5Mac is also predicts a September launch. Specifically, the report cites sources claiming Apple’s September launch event will take place on Wednesday, September 13. Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman said that the event was likely to happen on September 12 or 13, and later claimed that September 12 was the more likely of the two. However, Gurman did state that the decision isn’t final, and things could still change.

Assuming one of these dates is correct, and Apple sticks to its normal schedule, iPhone 15 preorders will likely begin that Friday (September 15). Full sales should then begin a week later, which would line up with the predicted September 22 release date.

iOS 17, the software that will run on the new iPhones, as well as current models (or at least on the iPhone XR or later) is already out in beta form. Following the release of a developer beta in June, the iOS 17 public beta arrived in July. (Read our iOS 17 beta hands-on preview for more.) That’s consistent with previous iOS release schedules. We’d expect the full release of iOS 17 to occur just a few days before the iPhone 15 starts shipping.

iPhone 15 release date: Our prediction

iPhone 14 Plus colors

iPhone 14 Plus colors

Given Apple’s preference for early September launches, we’d anticipate an iPhone 15 announcement would happen sometime during the first two weeks of September 2023. With the first of the month falling on a Friday — not a day any tech company is likely to hold a launch event — that gives us a window of Monday, September 4 through Thursday, September 14 for a likely iPhone 15 launch.

There are two additional things to keep in mind. First, when possible, Apple holds its product announcements on Tuesdays. Second, Monday, September 4 is the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. That not only rules out that particular day, it likely means Apple would avoid Tuesday, September 5, as that would be coming off a three-day weekend.

That leaves the following Tuesday, September 12, as the most likely day for an iPhone 15 event, assuming Apple sticks to an early September window and exercises its preference for Tuesday launches.

We’re not saying that will be the date, but it does give us a window to work with. Mark Gurman is known for his insider knowledge of Apple, and his prediction does match Apple’s typical pattern. Of course, should 9to5Mac’s source be correct about a September 13 launch event, our guess is off by a day. Oh well.

If we’ve guessed right and Apple sticks to its habit of rolling out phones 10 days after the launch event, that would place the iPhone 15 release date around September 22. That would be consistent with the timing floated by analyst Jeff Pu.

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