The official announcement of a new version of iOS – iOS 10 – at WWDC 2016 can be seen as the traditional precursor to the announcement of a new iPhone, and this year is no different. It is expected that Apple will follow its yearly cycle of announcing a new iPhone model to follow closely with the release of the latest version of iOS.
It is widely accepted that Apple will release an incremental update to the iPhone this year, while keeping with its current incremental naming scheme. Unlike other years, the iPhone 7 is not expected to introduce a dramatic external design change. Instead, the iPhone 7 is presumed to largely retain the external look of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.
Apple began releasing iPhones in the fall starting with the iPhone 4S – released on October 11 in the US in 2011. Prior to that, new iPhone hardware was released in the summer. All previous versions – with the exception of the iPhone 3G – were released in June. Starting with the 4S, September and October have been the months of choice. The iPhone 5 was released on September 21, 2012 and the iPhone 5 S followed on September 20, 2013. Following the same pattern, Apple released the iPhone 6 on September 19, 2014 and the iPhone 6s on September 25, 2015 – the latest fall release yet. With the release of iOS 10 coming “this fall,” there’s no chance that we’d see new iPhone hardware launching before that.
Fall begins on September 22nd this year, and the iPhone release should follow the change of the seasons with a release only a few days later.
But when will the actual announcement for the iPhone 7 come?
New iPhone hardware was traditionally announced at WWDC on a Monday in early June. The iPhone 4S was the first iPhone to break the WWDC announcement tradition, and so has every model that followed. It seems as if the WWDC iPhone announcement tradition is officially dead.
Once announced, a new iPhone releases an average of 31.7 days later. More recent iPhones have become available for purchase just 10-16 days after their announcement. The iPhone 7 will likely hang toward the higher end of the range.
With the exception of the iPhone 3G and 4S, each new generation of iPhone has been announced at least 1 day prior to the announcement of the previous model, generally in the second week of the month. The iPhone 7 will likely follow this trend and be announced in early September.
I’m pegging Friday, September 9th, 2016 as the day of the iPhone 7 announcement. I expect that the iPhone 7 release date is September 23, 2016 – exactly two weeks after the announcement.