When will Apple announce the new 2018 iPhones?

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The iPhone 8 (left) and 8 Plus (right).

Sarah Tew/CNET

Fall is approaching soon. That means Apple is expected to announce its next series of iPhones, which includes followups to the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X. And while we have no confirmation or knowledge of when the exact unveiling and release dates will occur (Apple did not reply for a request to comment), examining the dates that Apple picked over the past few years offers a rather consistent schedule to extrapolate some strong possibilities for the 2018 dates.

For the last six years, Apple held its iPhone announcements on either a Tuesday or Wednesday, and usually no later than the second full week of September. For 2018, this gives us four possible dates: Tuesday, Sept. 4; Wednesday, Sept. 5; Tuesday Sept. 11; and Wednesday, Sept. 12.

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In the US, the Labor Day holiday falls on the first Monday in September. Looking at the past six years, when Labor Day landed on the 3rd or earlier, Apple announced its iPhone the following week. When Labor Day occurred on the 5th or later, it announced the iPhone the following Wednesday (two days after Labor Day), as it did in 2015 and 2016.

For 2018, Labor Day falls on Monday, September 3. So, if Apple follows its recent pattern, the company would announce its new iPhones the following Tuesday or Wednesday: Sept. 11 and Sept. 12. These dates fit well with the expected iPhone in-store release dates too, which are usually a week-and-a-half after Apple makes its announcements (save for specialty iPhones like the iPhone X and iPhone SE). For the last six years, you could begin purchasing the latest iPhone on a Friday, around the third week of September. Check out the chart below:

Apple iPhone release and announcement dates (2012-2017)

iPhone model and year Announcement date Release date
iPhone 8/8 Plus (2017)   Tuesday, Sept. 12   Friday, Sept. 22  
iPhone 7/7 Plus (2016)   Wednesday, Sept. 7   Friday, Sept. 16  
iPhone 6S/6S Plus (2015)   Wednesday, Sept. 9   Friday, Sept. 25   
iPhone 6/6 Plus (2014)   Tuesday, Sept. 9   Friday, Sept. 19   
iPhone 5S (2013)   Tuesday, Sept. 10 Friday, Sept. 20  
iPhone 5 (2012)   Wednesday, Sept. 12   Friday, Sept. 21

If we anticipate Friday, Sept. 21 as the in-store launch, then Sept. 11 and 12 still work. And if I had to choose between the two dates, I’d go with Sept. 12. That’s because it was on that exact date when Apple unveiled its iPhones in 2017 and its iPhone 5 in 2012. And the news cycle on Sept. 11 is best avoided for obvious reasons.

So there you go — if I had to put money on it, I’d say the new 2018 iPhones will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 12 and released on Friday, Sept. 21. If I end up being wrong, so it goes. But if I’m right, someone owes me a can of Coke.

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