There are a lot of things about the iPhone 14 we have a pretty clear idea about ahead of its expected fall launch. But the iPhone 14 release date is not one of them, even though some leakers are beginning to make their guesses as to when Apple’s big phone release will happen.

Well, two can play at that game, as we can piece together an iPhone 14 release date timeline based on previous launches and a couple of pertinent leaks.

For the most part, leaks about the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models continue to focus on features. The Pro offerings are likely to ditch the iPhone’s signature notch in favor of a pair of cutouts, for example, and the iPhone 14 Pro could see its main camera bumped up to a 48MP sensor. Meanwhile, the mini model of the past two years looks likely to give way to the iPhone 14 Max, a 6.7-inch version of Apple’s standard iPhone.

While not official, those details seem pretty solid. The iPhone 14 release date is more of a mystery, with most Apple watchers referring to an undisclosed launch date sometime in the fall. The more daring forecasters will speculate about a September launch window, largely because that’s the month Apple typically shows off its new phones.

While release date rumors have yet to fully take shape, we don’t have to wait until they do to make some educated guesses as to when the iPhone 14 might appear. While Apple keeps a lot of details close to its vest, it does have a particular pattern of doing things that makes pinning down an exact date fairly easy, even before rumors can confirm if we’re on the right track.

Here’s a look at when Apple could set an iPhone 14 release date based on how the company has handled recent iPhone launches, along with other issues that could factor into the iPhone 14’s timing. If you’re wondering what the iPhone lineup will look after the iPhone 14’s arrival, we’ve also puzzled out which iPhone models could be discontinued and which ones Apple will continue to offer.

iPhone 14 release date: When previous iPhones have launched

Nobody knows what the future holds, but Apple’s recent past holds some clues as to what could be coming out of Cupertino and when. Here’s a quick recap of when Apple has scheduled the last eight iPhone launches.

Phone Announce date Release date
iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max September 14, 2021 September 24, 2021
iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro October 13, 2020 October 23, 2020
iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max October 13, 2020 November 13, 2020
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max September 10. 2019 September 20, 2019
iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max September 12, 2018 September 21, 2018
iPhone XR September 12, 2018 October 26, 2018
iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus September 12, 2017 September 22, 2017
iPhone X September 12, 2017 November 3, 2017
iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus September 7, 2016 September 16, 201\6
iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus September 9, 2015 September 25, 2015
iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus September 9, 2014 September 19, 2014

Your pattern recognition skills don’t necessary need to be sharp to spot the trend in that chart. In all but one year since 2014, Apple has announced its iPhones in September. Even more specifically, that announcement typically comes within the first two weeks of September.

There’s been one exception, and that’s 2020. You may remember that the first year of the coronavirus pandemic disrupted a lot of manufacturing that year, the iPhone included. So Apple postponed its iPhone 12 launch event until October 13.

iPhone 12 line and pricing

That wasn’t the only unusual thing about the iPhone 12 launch. Apple also had to stagger the release of its newly announced models. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro both came out 10 days after the launch event, but the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max didn’t ship until November.

The iPhone 12 launch was actually the third time Apple staggered its phone releases. The iPhone XR appeared a month after the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max in 2019, while the iPhone X didn’t show up until early November 2018 — nearly six weeks after the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus made their debut.

In 2021, things got back to normal with all four iPhone 13 models shipping at once (though there were supply issues, particularly for the iPhone 13 Pro models through the holiday shopping season). Until Apple or rumor mongers suggest differently, let’s assume that a single launch date for any and all iPhone models is Apple’s preferred way of doing things.

Again, looking at the chart above, you notice a pattern. Apple tends to schedule the actual launch of its phones 10 to 11 days after unveiling them to a waiting world. While there are exceptions — the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus shipped later than that time frame — you’d expect the iPhone 14 to fall into a similar pattern.

iPhone 14 release date: What the leakers say

The most definitive iPhone 14 release date rumor at this point comes from LeaksApplePro, who claims to have heard that Apple will host a product event in the 37th week of the year. That translates to the week of September 12.

A May report from Jeff Pu, analyst for Haitong International Securities, claims that production delays are affecting the new iPhone 14 Max model, which could push back that phone’s release. More recently, display specialist Ross Young claimed screen shipments for the iPhone 14 Max are lagging behind those for the similarly sized iPhone 14 Pro Max.

If those rumors prove true, Apple might do what it did with the iPhone 12 launch two years ago and stagger the release of this fall’s phones. We’d want to hear more details of production delays before assuming that’s the case, though.

iPhone 14 release date: When we think Apple will announce its phones

In the absence of any other iPhone 14 release date rumors, we only have Apple’s past history to go on. And that history indicates Apple will hold an event in the first two weeks of September 2022 to show off the iPhone 14 models.

iPhone 14 Pro concept render

Another thing that’s helpful to know about Apple is that it prefers to hold its press events on Tuesdays whenever possible. That’s significant in terms of an early September launch event because the first Tuesday in September — September 6 this year — falls immediately after the Labor Day holiday in the U.S.. Since Apple typically doesn’t like to have a three-day weekend precede its big product launches if it can help it at all, that rules out Sept. 6 as a would-be date for the iPhone 14 event.

So if you buy the ideas that 1) Apple holds its iPhone events in early September; 2) Apple likes Tuesdays when it’s time to hold product events; and 3) Apple isn’t going to do anything right after Labor Day, that leaves just one day in which the iPhone 14 could make its debut.

We’d guess that the iPhone 14 is announced on September 13. Should Apple stick to its track record or releasing the phone 10 days or so later, that puts September 22 as the tentative iPhone 14 release date, which could be the day the new models hit stores.

We want to stress — there’s nothing official about that date, and it could change as more information gets leaked about Apple’s iPhone plans. But if you want to make your plans now, September 13 sounds like as good a date as any to pay attention to what’s going down in Cupertino.

iPhone 14 release date: Potential delays

Nothing’s written in stone about the iPhone 14 release date, of course, even if subsequent leaks confirm or deny our guesswork. Things can come up that can push the iPhone 14 launch later than expected, and it’s worth keeping an eye out for one issue in particular.

Despite the easing of mask mandates and other Covid-19 measures, the pandemic is not over, and cases could surge again. Take a look at China, where entire cities went on lockdown during the spring when Covid-19 cases spiked. That’s particularly relevant to Apple’s iPhone 14 plans, since the phone is assembled in China.

Earlier in April, the city of Zhengzhou locked down some areas near the iPhone manufacturing facilities operated by Foxconn, raising concerns that iPhone 14 production might suffer delays. In late May, though, Foxconn’s chairman described the lockdown’s impact on his company as “limited.” That’s seen as an encouraging sign that the iPhone 14 release date is on track.

If you’re looking for more encouraging signs, supply chain reports indicate that Apple has lined up plenty of display providers for the panels that it will use on this year’s iPhones. With those same reports predicting that the panels will arrive on time, we see no reason to change our assumption that Apple is aiming for a September launch window.

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