iPhone 15 release date speculation: Here's when the new iPhone could arrive

iPhone 15 concept by 4RMD
(Image credit: 4RMD/YouTube)

It's never too early for iPhone 15 release date speculation to begin, even if we're not that far removed from the last Apple phone release. The beginning of a new year starts the annual guessing game about the exact date as to when Apple's next round of smartphones will arrive.

You can understand the eagerness to pin down a date for the iPhone 15 release. Even if you have no intention of buying a phone from Apple, new iPhones tend to set the tone for the rest of the smartphone market. Everyone's interested in seeing what new features Apple does — or doesn't — introduce. And on a practical level, the iPhone's release schedule can give us a glimpse into whether global supply chains are humming along.

This year, the iPhone 15 figures to introduce plenty of new capabilities. From a likely move to USB-C over Lightning and the possible addition of a periscope-style telephoto lens on some models, we're already hearing plenty about the company's reported plans for the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and — potentially — the new iPhone 15 Ultra.

An iPhone 15 release date? That, we haven't heard much about, though some of the first rumors about Apple's plans have begun to surface. We expect even more as we get closer to the likely launch date.

But we don't have to wait until rumors pick up to start speculating on the iPhone 15 release date. Apple has enough of established track record of phone releases that we can make an educated guess as to the range of dates an iPhone 15 may arrive. We can then adjust that expectation as more release date rumors emerge throughout the year.

Here's our best guess right now about the iPhone 15 release date, based on Apple's recent past of iPhone launches.

iPhone 15 release date: When previous iPhones have launched

This will be the 17th year that Apple has released a smartphone, so we have some lengthy history to draw on when it comes to pinpointing an iPhone release date. All the way back in 2007, Apple previewed the original iPhone in January ahead of the device's June launch. But in 2014, Apple's release window changed, as iPhones started coming out in the fall. (The exception, of course, is the iPhone SE models, which have seen spring releases for all three iterations.)

Here's a look at the last eight years of flagship iPhone releases, dating back to the debut of the iPhone 6s series in 2015. In addition to the date of Apple's launch event for each iPhone announcement, we've also included the actual release dates — that's a key distinction as sometimes Apple has staggered its iPhone roll-outs.

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PhoneAnnounce dateRelease date
iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro MaxSeptember 7, 2022September 16, 2022
iPhone 14 PlusSeptember 7, 2022October 7, 2022
iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro MaxSeptember 14, 2021September 24, 2021
iPhone 12, iPhone 12 ProOctober 13, 2020October 23, 2020
iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro MaxOctober 13, 2020November 13, 2020
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro MaxSeptember 10. 2019September 20, 2019
iPhone XS, iPhone XS MaxSeptember 12, 2018September 21, 2018
iPhone XRSeptember 12, 2018October 26, 2018
iPhone 8, iPhone 8 PlusSeptember 12, 2017September 22, 2017
iPhone XSeptember 12, 2017November 3, 2017
iPhone 7, iPhone 7 PlusSeptember 7, 2016September 16, 201\6
iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s PlusSeptember 9, 2015September 25, 2015

As you can see, one month in particular seems to be Apple's favorite for announcing its new phones. With the exception of 2020 — a year affected by the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic — Apple has announced the latest iPhone in September. And not just at random points in September — those iPhone announcements have all come within the first two weeks of the month.

As for release dates, there's a noticeable pattern there, too. Apple tends to ship its phones 10 days after announcing them, though there are notable exceptions. Sometimes, Apple staggers the launch of specific models like the iPhone XR in 2018 and the iPhone X the prior year. Generally, staggered launches reflect supply issues with particular models — something that could also be an issue in 2023.

iPhone 15 release date: What the rumors claim

The dawn of a new year has brought us our first iPhone 15 release date rumor. Jeff Pu, analyst for Haitong International, says his sources in Apple's supply chain are pointing to a September 23 release for the iPhone 15. That falls on a Saturday this year, and Apple phones typically hit retail shelves on Fridays. Adjusting for time zones, it's possible that Apple may be eyeing September 22 as the day its new phones go on sale.

iPhone 15 release date: What dates to expect

With only one iPhone 15 release date rumors to go off of, we're left to do some guesswork. And that means making the assumption that Apple's past performance offers a hint at its future plans.

iPhone 14 Plus colors

2022's iPhone 14 launch event took place September 7 (Image credit: Future)

Put another way, given Apple's preference for early September launches, we'd anticipate an iPhone 15 announcement would happen sometime during the first two weeks of September 2023. With the first of the month following on a Friday — not a day any tech company is likely to hold a launch event — that gives us a window of Monday, September 4 through Thursday, September 14 for a likely iPhone 15 launch.

There are two additional things to keep in mind. First, when possible, Apple holds its product announcements on Tuesdays. Second, Monday, September 4 is the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. That not only rules out that particular day, it likely means Apple would avoid Tuesday, September 5, as that would be coming off a three-day weekend.

That leaves the following Tuesday, September 12, as the most likely day for an iPhone 15 event, assuming Apple sticks to an early September window and exercises its preference for Tuesday launches. We're not saying that will be the date, but it does give us a window to work with.

If we've guessed right and Apple sticks to its habit of rolling out phones 10 days after the launch event, that would place the iPhone 15 release date around September 22. That would be consistent with the timing floated by analyst Jeff Pu.

As you might expect, there are caveats to that educated guess. Let's start with the most obvious — trying to predict anything with absolute confidence nine months in advance is a fool's game. A lot can change between now and then, so if you're scribbling September 12 in your 2023 calendar, do it in lightest, most erasable pencil you have on hand.

A thing to keep an eye on as 2023 rolls on would be events in China, where most of the manufacturing and assembly work on iPhones is done. As 2022 drew to a close, Covid restrictions and worker protests disrupted production at Foxconn facilities in China. As Foxconn is Apple's primary production partner, that's had an impact on iPhone 14 supplies.

Foxconn said in December that it was in the process of restoring production capacity, and since we're a ways off from production beginning on the iPhone 15, there's no impact yet on 2023's phones. But it's a situation that could flare up again, affecting iPhone 15 release plans.

There is a slight wrinkle now, however. Trial production has reportedly begun for the iPhone 15 lineup and it's starting a month earlier than usual this year. This seems to be due to Apple's mass-production plans in India and China rather than an indication that we will see an iPhone earlier than usual, but we cannot rule it out for sure. Still, we expect that this change in the process for Apple won't impact the iPhone 15 release date significantly at this time.

iphone 15 ultra concept video

iPhone 15 Ultra concept design (Image credit: 4RMD/YouTube)

On a somewhat related note, some rumors predict a new iPhone model, dubbed the iPhone 15 Ultra. Like the Apple Watch Ultra, this could be a high-end version of Apple's smartphone that's produced in smaller numbers than the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models. If that's the case, we could see a staggered release, similar to what Apple's done with niche models in the past.

iPhone 15 release date: Outlook

We can't emphasize enough that it's still early going for iPhone 15 rumors, which means any claims about an iPhone 15 release date remain in flux — even ours. Just plan on the new iPhones likely arriving in the fall, with a firmer date arising later on in the year.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.