Toggle Dark Mode
By now, we know that Apple is holding a special Wonderlust event next Tuesday, September 12, where it will almost certainly announce this year’s iPhone 15 lineup. What’s less clear, though, is when those new iPhone models will actually go on sale in retail stores and land in eager customers’ hands.
Technically speaking, we don’t even know with complete certainty that Apple will unveil its new iPhone lineup at next week’s event. After all, it’s merely sent out a vague announcement that it’s holding an event — it hasn’t even really hinted at what we can expect. We also don’t even know for sure that it will be called the “iPhone 15.”
Still, when the sun comes up every day, you kind of take it for granted. In 13 years of iPhone releases, Apple has always debuted its new iPhone lineup in the fall, and with only two exceptions, that’s been done at a September event. In fact, Apple is so predictable in this regard that you can often narrow it down to the exact date of the event long before Apple sends out the formal invites.
No Subscriptions - Get Microsoft Office Lifetime Access for Just $49.97
Even Microsoft tries to nudge you toward paying monthly for their Suite 365. The good news is that you don't have to. iDrop News readers can get lifetime access to MS Office at 85% off the normal price...Get It Here
Likewise, although Apple dabbled in off-year “S” models during most of the previous decade, it seems to have finally settled on a simple, sequentially-numbered naming convention for its new iPhone models in the 2020s. Hence, it’s a very safe bet this year’s lineup will be the iPhone 15, with the only real wildcard being whether Apple will choose to go with the traditional iPhone 15 Pro Max moniker for the largest flagship model or change things up by adopting “iPhone 15 Ultra.”
Certainly, the latter is less of a mouthful. It also seems like it would fit comfortably alongside the similarly-sized iPhone 15 Plus, and if rumors are true, the premium 6.7-inch iPhone may be the only one to get a significantly improved periscope lens system. This would set it apart from the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro in a way that calls for a more unique name.
When Will the iPhone 15 Go on Sale?
In the same way that Apple’s fall iPhone events are predictable almost to the day, we can make some very safe assumptions about when the new iPhone models will be released to the public.
For this year’s iPhone 15 lineup, that’s likely to be Friday, September 22, a week after preorders open next Friday, September 15.
However, that doesn’t mean every new iPhone 15 model will be available on those dates.
Whether Apple holds its event on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, it has nearly always opened preorders on the Friday immediately following that event. The sole exception to this was in 2015 when it opted to shift preorders to a Saturday out of respect for September 11, which landed on a Friday that year. This is one of the reasons why Apple sometimes holds its iPhone events on Wednesdays; the other is to avoid the Tuesday immediately following Labor Day.
Even when Apple held its iPhone event in October — the 2011 iPhone 4S and the 2020 iPhone 12 lineup — preorders or at least some models opened on the following Friday. That said, Apple doesn’t always open up preorders for all of its iPhone models at the same time, and the iPhone 12 is one of the best examples of that; the two 6.1-inch models, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, went up for preorder right away while the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max were delayed another three weeks, pushing them into November. The same happened with the iPhone X in 2017 and the iPhone XR in 2019.
|2011||iPhone 4S||Tue Oct 4||Fri Oct 7||Fri Oct 14|
|2012||iPhone 5||Wed Sep 12||Fri Sep 14||Fri Sep 21|
|2013||iPhone 5s / 5c||Tue Sep 10||Fri Sep 13||Fri Sep 20|
|2014||iPhone 6 / 6 Plus||Tue Sep 9||Fri Sep 12||Fri Sep 19|
|2015||iPhone 6s / 6s Plus||Wed Sep 9||Sat Sep 12||Fri Sep 25|
|2016||iPhone 7 / 7 Plus||Wed Sep 7||Fri Sep 9||Fri Sep 16|
|2017||iPhone 8 / 8 Plus||Tue Sep 12||Fri Sep 15||Fri Sep 22|
|iPhone X||Tue Sep 12||Fri Oct 27||Fri Nov 3|
|2018||iPhone XS / XS Max||Wed Sep 12||Fri Sep 14||Fri Sep 21|
|2018||iPhone XR||Wed Sep 12||Fri Oct 19||Fri Oct 26|
|2019||iPhone 11 Lineup||Tue Sep 10||Fri Sep 13||Fri Sep 20|
iPhone 12 Pro
|Tue Oct 13||Fri Oct 16||Fri Oct 23|
|iPhone 12 mini|
iPhone 12 Pro Max
|Tue Oct 13||Fri Nov 6||Fri Nov 13|
|2021||iPhone 13 Lineup||Tue Sep 14||Fri Sep 17||Fri Sep 24|
iPhone 14 Pro
iPhone 14 Pro Max
|Wed Sep 7||Fri Sep 9||Fri Sep 16|
|iPhone 14 Plus||Wed Sep 7||Fri Sep 9||Fri Oct 7|
Nevertheless, Apple has always had some new iPhone models available for preorder on the Friday following its event. Once preorders open, in-store availability and shipments to customers nearly always go out to arrive by the following Friday. Once again, 2015 was the outlier here: it took almost two weeks (13 days) from the Saturday preorders before the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s arrived.
Apple also did an unusual thing with the iPhone 14 Plus last year, which was its first 6.7-inch standard iPhone model. While preorders opened alongside the other iPhone 14 models, those who opted to buy an iPhone 14 Plus had to wait four weeks before they could get their hands on one — it didn’t arrive in stores until October.
There’s a slight possibility Apple could do something similar this year. Rumors have suggested that the iPhone 15 Pro Max (iPhone 15 Ultra?) has been facing some production delays. These never appeared significant enough that Apple would delay opening preorders for the new model, but it could have pushed availability back, similar to last year’s iPhone 14 Plus.
The good news is that more recent reports suggest these production problems have been resolved, and those models are back on track — at least with enough stock levels to handle initial preorder demand without making customers feel like they’re entering a lottery. However, supplies may still be somewhat constrained in those initial weeks, so if you really want a shiny new iPhone 15 Ultra, you may want to set your alarm for preorder day and get your bid in as soon as possible.