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The iPhone 13 is about to arrive.
Nobody outside the company knows what exactly that could mean, though rumours suggest Apple’s new phone will have a smaller notch at the top, improved cameras and a faster processor.
It is not even clear whether that will actually be its name. Apple might choose to forego the “13” number, given its reputation, and perhaps even drop the numbering scheme entirely as it has with other products such as the iPad.
But we do know a little bit more about when it might arrive. Though Apple has not publicly said anything about a release date, it is so consistent and reliable that we can make a very informed guess.
What Apple has said is that it will be holding an event, titled “California Streaming”, on 14 September. It did not say explicitly that it will be an iPhone event.
Though Apple does almost always release the iPhone at an event in September, last year it was forced to delay into October as a result of production problems. But that issue was heavily trailed, and Apple has given no suggestion this year that it has been forced to do the same thing.
As such, it can be assumed with some certainty that the 14 September event will include the iPhone, and potentially other products such as the Apple Watch.
Just as it keeps to a regular schedule with its iPhone announcements, Apple has been very consistent with how the iPhone comes out after that.
The company tends to open pre-orders for the new phone the Friday after, which would mean they would go live on the Apple Store and other vendors on 17 September.
They then usually actually go on sale exactly a week later, on the following Friday, which would mean they would hit shelves on 24 September. It’s that launch date that fans have famously waited outside stores to try and be the first – but in recent years Apple has looked to encourage people to buy online instead, and that has only accelerated in the pandemic.
That schedule usually holds true in Apple’s core markets, including the UK, the US, China, Japan and many other countries. Others – such as India – often have to wait a couple of weeks more.
Some rumours have suggested that other products, such as the Apple Watch, could be delayed because of production problems. And the iPhone might be less readily available because of ongoing chip shortages.
Apple could, of course, throw out that schedule entirely, or not release an iPhone at all this year. But its $2.5 trillion market cap has been built on its ability to surprise on schedule, and so that would be very unlikely.