Apple Is Expected to Unveil the iPhone 13 and More on September 7, 2021

Tim Cook Apple CEO Credit: Hadrian / Shutterstock
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As we approach the end of August, rumours of Apple’s September iPhone release timeline are starting to come into focus, and unless Apple chooses to do something radically different this year, it’s easy for us to predict when we’ll see Apple host its annual iPhone event this year.

As with the 2020 iPhone 12 launch, Apple plans to hold its event virtually once again, which gives the company a bit more flexibility in scheduling. This means that there’s certainly no guarantee that it’s going to follow the same trends as it’s done in the past.

For example, since virtual events are easier to put together, we may see more separate announcements than we usually do, but it’s safe to say that whatever Apple’s plans may be for other devices like new iPads, AirPods, and even the Apple Watch, it’s going to lead with the “iPhone 13.”

Earlier this week, one source pegged September 17 as the iPhone release date, corroborating other earlier reports that the iPhone would go on sale during the third week in September. It’s a date that makes sense, especially since as we said yesterday, it lines up with what Apple has almost always done before.

Along the same lines, we can also easily predict the date when Apple will actually hold its event to announce the new iPhone, since it’s almost always done this around 10 days before the iPhone actually goes on sale, most often on a Tuesday, but occasionally on a Wednesday.

This puts the most likely date for Apple’s “iPhone 13” event as Tuesday, September 7, 2021. Although, it’s possible Apple may hold the event on Wednesday to distance it from the long holiday weekend. However, with all of the events this year being virtual, there may be little need to wait until the eighth.

If this is the case, we can expect invites to go out by next Tuesday, August 31, since Apple normally provides at least a week’s notice, even for its virtual events.

There’s also a possibility that Apple could go with a Wednesday event this year instead, but that’s only been done four times in the past decade — two of which were likely to avoid holding the event on September 11 for the iPhone 5 in 2012 and the iPhone XS and iPhone XR in 2018.

Apple’s Past iPhone Events

On the other hand, without exception, every fall iPhone lineup ever released by Apple has gone on sale on a Friday, and seven of the eight new sets of iPhones that landed in the month of September have been in the third week in September. Even aside from the reports we’ve heard, this makes September 17 a very safe bet.

2011iPhone 4STue Oct 4Fri Oct 7Fri Oct 14
2012iPhone 5Wed Sep 12Fri Sep 14Fri Sep 21
2013iPhone 5s / 5cTue Sep 10Fri Sep 13Fri Sep 20
2014iPhone 6 / 6 PlusTue Sep 9Fri Sep 12Fri Sep 19
2015iPhone 6s / 6s PlusWed Sep 9Sat Sep 12Fri Sep 25
2016iPhone 7 / 7 PlusWed Sep 7Fri Sep 9Fri Sep 16
2017iPhone 8 / 8 PlusTue Sep 12Fri Sep 15Fri Sep 22
2017iPhone XTue Sep 12Fri Oct 27Fri Nov 3
2018iPhone XS / XS MaxWed Sep 12Fri Sep 14Fri Sep 21
2018iPhone XRWed Sep 12Fri Oct 19Fri Oct 26
2019iPhone 11 LineupTue Sep 10Fri Sep 13Fri Sep 20
2020iPhone 12
iPhone 12 Pro
Tue Oct 13Fri Oct 16Fri Oct 23
2020iPhone 12 mini
iPhone 12 Pro Max
Tue Oct 13Fri Nov 6Fri Nov 13

As you can see from the list above, with only one notable exception, Apple has always put its first new iPhone models up for pre-order on the Friday following its launch event, and then had them in stores the following Friday, 9–10 days after its event. In fact, this has been the case even with Apple’s later October events.

The iPhone 6s was the odd one out here on two counts: it was the only time that iPhone pre-orders have ever opened on a Saturday, and the only time that pre-orders came more than a week before the iPhone landed in stores.

While Apple has delayed some of its iPhone models in the past, it’s always had its mainstream ones available within days of its launch events — the iPhone 8 / 8 Plus in 2017, the iPhone XS / XS Max in 2018, and the iPhone 12 / iPhone 12 Pro last year.

This year, however, all reports suggest that Apple will have its entire “iPhone 13” lineup ready to go at launch, from the 5.4-inch “iPhone 13 mini” to the 6.7-inch “iPhone 13 Pro Max.”

Although we don’t know for sure what Apple is going to call its newest iPhones, all the safest bets are on “iPhone 13” — but we’re still leaving a bit of room here for Apple to surprise us. What we do know, however, is that we can expect some pretty incredible camera improvements, faster 120Hz Always on Displays for the Pro models, better battery life, and possibly even a 1TB model.

While we’re still hoping that Apple will keep the prices the same as the current iPhone 12 lineup, a recent report has suggested that rising costs could force Apple to edge them up a bit this year, although history suggests that any price increases will probably be minimal as Apple has traditionally only bumped its iPhone prices by $50 from one year to the next.

[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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