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iPhone 14 release date speculation: Here's when we could see the new iPhone

A row of renders of the iPhone 14, below the word 2022 with the 0 formed by the Apple logo
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Ian Zelbo | Front Page Tech)

There are a lot of things about the iPhone 14 we have a pretty clear idea about ahead of its launch later this year. But what about the iPhone 14 release date? There have not been any concrete leaks as of yet, but we can put together a timeline based on previous launches.

To date, leaks about the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models have focused 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 percolate to the surface, 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.

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.

PhoneAnnounce dateRelease date
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
iPhone 6, iPhone 6 PlusSeptember 9, 2014September 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

Dating back to 2014, the iPhone 12 launch was the only one that didn't take place in September. (Image credit: Apple)

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: When we think Apple will announce its phones

In the absence of definitive 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

(Image credit: Technizo Concept/Let's Go Digital)

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 have gone on lockdown as Covid-19 cases rise. 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. However, subsequent reports say that Foxconn's Zhengzhou facility is operating as normal. Still, any change could impact the iPhone 14 release date.

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.