The iPhone 13 is likely set to make its debut on Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. BST) during Apple’s next event. Similar to last year’s announcement of the iPhone 12, Apple is holding an online-only event due to concerns about the pandemic. Although the event will be all virtual, we’re expecting to see four versions of the new phone: the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 Mini, the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
A few years ago, CNET took a deep dive into the Apple event timeline and emerged with a compelling Labor Day hypothesis, which you can read about here. Based on the 2021 calendar, the Labor Day rule would have put the September Apple event (and the unveiling of the iPhone 13) this week. But, since Apple set the date for its next event, our hypothesis has not held true this year.
Apple’s first event of 2021 happened in April, where we saw new iPads, colorful iMacs, a purple iPhone 12 and AirTags trackers. Then came WWDC in June, where we caught a first glimpse of iOS 15. And there was no word from Apple on the iPhone 13 at either event. But no one was expecting the iPhone 13 to be announced that early.
We already suspected Apple’s September iPhone 13 event would go virtual. This was previously rumored in a July Power On newsletter from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. He originally speculated Apple’s next event would be completely virtual because of the tech giant’s decision to delay its return to in-person work due to rising COVID-19 cases. Apple had originally said that all employees would be required to come into the office three days a week starting in September. Gurman says that if Apple had stuck with the September time frame, an in-person iPhone 13 event would have been “plausible.”
While the pandemic changed the usual course for 2020, marking the first September Apple event in eight years without an iPhone due to production delays, Kuo predicted that 2021 would see a return to the company’s typical cadence. A March 24 report based on supply chain information also pointed to a late September iPhone 13 release date. And an April report from DigiTimes cited industry insiders who said production for the phones’ new chips was ahead of schedule, which should put the phone release back on a familiar, prepandemic timeline.
In a note to investors, reported on by MacRumors, Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives also revealed that Apple was likely to launch the iPhone 13 in “the third week of September.” This would mean some time between Monday, Sept. 13 and Friday, Sept. 20, which was spot-on.
iPhone release dates are typically set on Fridays, about a week and a half after Apple announces new devices. If the iPhone 13 does launch on Tuesday, we can expect the release date to be sometime in the third week of September, perhaps Sept. 24. We’ll know more when Apple unveils its new phone lineup.