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The iPhone 12 Pro Max was released in October.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Though it’s been only a few months since the iPhone 12 went on sale, Apple is already setting its sights on its next flagship smartphone, the iPhone 13 (or whatever it ends up being called). 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. But when can we expect Apple to unveil its newest phones?

Apple has yet to hint at any iPhone 13 event date. Based on Apple’s history, however, we can typically predict when the company’s iPhone events will happen, and make an educated guess on a release date based on that. 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 predicts that 2021 will see a return to the company’s typical cadence. 

Read more: Every iPhone 13 rumor we’ve heard so far 

If this is true, we can expect to get a first look at the iPhone 13 at an event at some point in September. 

Apple usually holds its events on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and iPhone release dates typically are set about a week and a half after Apple announces the new devices. Usually, new iPhones are released on a Friday, around the third week of September. 


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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 put the September Apple event (and the unveiling of the iPhone 13) on Sept. 8, with a Sept. 17 release date. 

We won’t know if this is true until Apple announces an event, and shows off the phones. But if you want to plan ahead and save up for an iPhone 13, we’d bet on the September timeline, at least for now. 

For more, check out why the iPhone 13 could have a 120Hz always-on display, and our review of the iPhone 12

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