The biggest special event of Apple’s year, most years anyway, is when it reveals its new iPhone. And this year, it looks like there will be four of them. But when, exactly, will they be announced, when will they go on sale and what will they be called? Read on.
Apple is a creature of habit, so we can deduce a lot of information about what is likely to happen this year from what’s happened previously.
September it is
September is Apple’s preferred month for launching its flagship phones, with very few exceptions. The first iPhone was unveiled in 2007, in January. The next three, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4, appeared at WWDC in June 2008, 2009 and 2010. Then came the switch to a fall reveal. October 2011 saw the arrival of the iPhone 4s.
Ever since then, September has been the announcement and release month. Well, there was one exception to that, when Covid pushed back the release to October in 2020. When the iPhone 13 launched in September, it meant the iPhone 12 Pro series was taken off the market after 11 months, not 12 – a record-breaking early cancellation.
Although Covid-19 is still with us, there’s enough normality about the world and the production line for us to be confident that September will be the chosen month.
Announcement and release are different
Usually, the onsale date of the handset is 11 days after the unveiling, but sometimes not. When the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were revealed on the same day in September 2017, the iPhone X actually came out in November. Similarly, the following year, the iPhone XS and XR were announced on the same day, but the XR came a couple of weeks after the XS.
Will there be a delay for any models this year?
At the moment, we don’t know. There are rumors that one model could be delayed, the iPhone 14 Max. But we’re far enough away from the release that things could change quite a lot.
So, what date, exactly?
Apple favors Tuesday as its best day for special events, though Monday and Wednesday are not ruled out. One reason for Tuesday is the need for press representatives to fly in from around the world.
Apple always chooses either the first or second week of September, rather than later in the month, which gives us a choice of two dates, Tuesday, September 6 and Tuesday, September 13. Since Monday, September 5 is Labor Day, that rules out September 6.
You’re assuming it’s a live event?
This is the crucial question. If it’s a virtual event, then either date is possible, but my guess is that Apple will want to either have a full in-person event or a hybrid set-up such as was used for WWDC: a glossy, high-production-value movie made in advance but with an in-person screening of it. This has the advantage that if things took a turn for the worst, Covid-wise, that the in-person element can be cancelled but there’s still something to show the world.
I believe that Apple will strain every muscle to have an in-person event but will have its Hollywood-blockbuster recording ready to go.
If it’s virtual-only, then any day in the first two weeks is possible, but I’m pretty sure it will be a hybrid event, so either Wednesday, September 7 or Tuesday, September 13 seem most likely to me. I am putting my money on Tuesday, September 13.
In turn, this means the phones would go on sale on Friday, September 23, 2022.
Well, I did promise to be exact. It’ll be, as it always is, at 10AM local time and, as I’m sure it’ll take place in Cupertino, that’s 10Am Pacific.
What will it be called?
Last year, there was some question as to whether Apple would call its 2022 release the iPhone 12s or iPhone 13. The fact that Apple went straight for iPhone 13 indicates to me that iPhone 14 is what we can expect this year. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are shoo-ins for the premium phone, which leaves the fourth phone.
So far, it’s mostly been called the iPhone 14 Max, as it’s believed to have a 6.7-inch display, like the iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to have. But a recent report suggests that it could be called iPhone 14 Plus instead. We’ll see.
More details will emerge, I’m sure, in the run-up to September, so please check back.