‘iPhone 13’ May Be Confirmed to Launch Sept. 17, AirPods 3 to Follow

iPhone 13 Concept Credit: Apple_Tomorrow / Twitter
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As we get closer to an actual Apple launch event next month, clues are starting to slip out as to exactly when we’ll be able to get our hands on Apple’s newest toys, from the “iPhone 13” to the next-generation AirPods.

In fact, a new leak from a Chinese site, IT Home (via MacRumors) may have just given us an exact date for when the new iPhones will go on sale.

If the information found in an e-commerce app discovered by the Chinese-language site is accurate, the entire iPhone 13 lineup will launch on Friday, September 17, with the third-generation AirPods coming nearly two weeks later on Thursday, September 30.

The screenshot was originally posted on China’s Weibo social media site by a user who goes by the moniker @PandaIsBald, but since it’s hard to judge the veracity of the image, and it’s accompanied by no other supporting information, this one should be taken with a large serving of salt.

That said, however, the iPhone part of the report does line up with other information shared a couple of weeks ago by Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives, who observed that everything in Apple’s supply chain seems to be pointing to an iPhone launch in the third week in September.

Since Apple has launched almost every iPhone in history on a Friday, and most of them in the third week in September, it doesn’t take a lot of clairvoyance to predict that this year will be more of the same.

Only two iPhone models in Apple’s entire history were not launched on a Friday, and neither of these were part of Apple’s fall lineups. The iPhone 4 came out on Thursday, June 24, 2010, and the original iPhone SE arrived on Thursday, March 31, 2016.

In fact, Apple seemed to have a thing for Thursdays with the iPhone 4 cycle, as the first CDMA iPhone arrived for Verizon customers on Thursday, February 10, 2011, and the first white iPhone 4 arrived on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

However, September has long been the most popular month for Apple to launch new iPhone models with 8 out of 14 fall releases occurring in September, and 7 of those in the third week in September.

The iPhone 6s lineup was the outlier here, launching a week later on September 25, 2016. This was also notably the only year when the first new iPhone went on sale more than two weeks after Apple’s launch event, which was still held that year on September 9, 2016.

The remaining six fall releases were the original iPhone 4S, which went on sale on October 14, 2011, the 2017 and iPhone X and 2018 iPhone XR, which launched a few weeks after the more mainstream models arrived in September, and of course, last year’s iPhone 12 lineup, which saw separate October and November arrivals.

It’s also worth noting that last year was the first time since 2010 that Apple didn’t launch any iPhones in September, but it’s pretty safe to say that we would have seen a typical September launch were it not for the delays caused by a worldwide pandemic.

Friday, September 17, 2021 is the most likely date for a new iPhone to launch even if we didn’t have leaks and supply chain rumours to back it up. There are only three other Fridays in September, and it’s fair to say that the first two are far too soon.

Most agree that we’ll see all four new iPhone models launch at the same time, from the 5.4-inch iPhone mini all the way up to the 6.7-inch iPhone Pro Max. Expect significant camera improvements, bigger batteries, better displays on the Pro models, and possibly even a 1TB model.

What About the New AirPods?

The question of when we’ll see new AirPods is considerably murkier. Rumours that Apple may debut third-generation AirPods alongside the new iPhone have only started circulating recently, but it’s also fair to say that we’ve already been expecting new AirPods for several months now.

However, the recent rumours for a fall announcement come from some reliable sources, including Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, so we’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that we’ll see Apple announce them.

It’s much harder to predict when they’ll go on sale, however, although September 30 is as good a guess as any, assuming that Apple still wants a “September” release date.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that Apple hasn’t actually announced new AirPods on stage since it debuted the originals back in 2016. Of course, those were revolutionary at the time, and they happened to debut alongside the iPhone 7, so Apple was already holding a launch event anyway.

So, it’s certainly possible that Apple could squeeze its newest AirPods into next month’s iPhone event, but we also wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being another low-key release. After all, even Apple’s AirPods Max last year, which were certainly more groundbreaking, were slipped out quietly via a press release in December.

The “AirPods 3”, as they’re being called, are expected to adopt the shorter-stemmed design of the AirPods Pro, without the removable ear tips or Active Noise Cancellation features. It’s unclear what other changes we might see beyond the new design, however.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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