Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know that Apple typically launches its new iPhones in September. In fact, that’s been the case since the iPhone 5 was released in 2012, and even the iPhone 4S, released the year, before only missed being a September baby by about four days (it was unveiled on October 4th).
While it would be a much bigger surprise if Apple wasn’t launching a new iPhone this September, a more specific date than just “sometime in September” isn’t always a certainty. However, it seems that every year as we approach the launch of a new iPhone, possible release dates leak out from the carriers, who of course have to deal with the logistics of preparing for the ever-popular smartphone to go on sale on their networks and in their stores.
This year the first leak comes from the land of the rising sun. Japanese blog Mac Otakara has reported that Ken Miyauchi, President of Japan’s Softbank conglomerate, let it slip to investors during a financial briefing that he expects this year’s iPhone to land on September 20th.
While Miyauchi originally just said that the new iPhone would come in the middle of September, when a reporter raised the question of whether the iPhone would be on sale by September 30th, Miyauchi responded that it would probably be ten days earlier, although he caught himself and said that he shouldn’t say that, claiming that he actually didn’t know for sure, but we think this sounds like back-pedalling after he let something slip that he shouldn’t have.
Apple’s iPhone Timelines
That said, September 20th for the actual release of the new iPhone makes a lot of sense, and would line up very closely with Apple’s timelines from prior years.
Firstly, September 20th is a Friday, and with only one exception, Apple has released every new iPhone in history on a Friday. The only exception was the iPhone 4, which arrived on a Thursday — June 24, 2010.
Further, September 20th is the third Friday in September, which seems to be Apple’s preferred release date — five out of the seven iPhones released in September have gone on sale on the third Friday, and the two that didn’t were still pretty close; the 2017 iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus landed on September 22nd (the iPhone X didn’t arrive until November, but was still released on a Friday), and the iPhone 6s models in 2015 arrived on September 25th.
So a September 20th release for this year’s iPhone lineup isn’t really a long shot, and in fact it’s possible that Miyauchi was simply making an educated guess, rather than divulging any inside info. However, it also stands to reason that Apple’s carrier partners have already been provided with the release timeline so that they can make the necessary preparations.
Working Back from There
Assuming that September 20th is in fact the day that the “iPhone XI” or “iPhone 11” will go on sale, it’s fairly easy to figure out approximately when Apple’s actual unveiling will land by working back based on the company’s usual schedule.
For the past few years, Apple has been opening pre-orders for each new iPhone a week before it actually goes on sale, so it’s safe to say that this will probably land on September 13th.
Since Apple usually opens iPhone pre-orders on the Friday immediately following its product announcements, and typically holds these events on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, this would suggest that Apple’s 2019 iPhone event will be held on either September 10th or September 11th. Since Apple is likely to avoid holding an event on September 11th — for obvious reasons it’s danced around that date in the past as well — we’d say the most likely date for Apple’s fall iPhone event is September 10, 2019.
There has in fact only been one exception to this schedule, back in 2015, when Apple’s event, held on September 9 that year, preceded the release of the iPhone 6s by an extra week, so it’s certainly possible that the dates could be different this year as well, but based on Apple’s history, we think it’s a safe bet that we’ll be seeing this year’s iPhone lineup sooner rather than later.
What About iOS 13?
Apple also typically lines up the launch of major new iOS releases alongside the new iPhone models each year, so there’s almost no doubt that iOS 13 will be announced at the same time as the new iPhone, with a final “GM” developer release likely coming out the same day. The public release will likely arrive a few days before the new iPhone goes on sale, probably on or around Tuesday September 17th if Apple follows the trend from the past few years. The new iPhones, of course, will ship with iOS 13 preinstalled, and likely won’t even be compatible with older iOS versions.