Get ready, here's when the iPhone 7 will probably come out

Apple hasn’t yet announced when the latest version of the iPhone — let’s call it the iPhone 7 — will come out.

But the company follows a very predictable pattern on its iPhone launches, so it’s possible to make an informed guess.

The short answer?

Expect the iPhone 7 launch date to be Wednesday, September 7, with the actual device shipping to people two weeks after that, according to an estimate by long-time Apple watcher John Gruber.

If Gruber’s guess is correct, that means that you’ll be able to buy a new iPhone on Friday, September 16, which lines up with a previous suggestion from leaker Evan Blass.

The long answer is that date is still a guess — and will be until Apple announces its dates.

Here are some facts about Apple’s iPhone launches:

  1. Since 2012, Apple has released its latest iPhone in September
  2. The iPhone usually goes on pre-order a few days after Apple’s keynote announcement
  3. Apple likes its announcements to take place on a Tuesday or Wednesday
  4. Pre-orders typically last about a week, but have lasted longer

Let’s look at when the last four iPhones came out, compiled by 9to5Mac:

2012: iPhone 5 was announced on Wednesday, September 12, and started shipping on Friday, September 21

2013: iPhone 5S was announced on Wednesday, September 10, and started shipping on Friday, September 20

2014: iPhone 6 was announced on Tuesday, September 9, and started shipping on Friday, September 19

2015: iPhone 6S was announced on Wednesday, September 9, and started shipping on Friday, September 25

Based on this somewhat limited pattern, Apple likes to announce its phones on a Tuesday or Wednesday, and release them on a Friday.

So let’s take another look at September this year:

Based on previous patterns, those are the four dates that Apple is likely to announce the iPhone 7, and the two dates it’s likely to hit stores. So even if Gruber’s estimate is off, it’s likely only to be wrong by a week.

Or Apple could be totally breaking with tradition, in which case, all bets are off.

We’re expecting the iPhone 7 to have an improved camera, a waterproof casing, and possibly a better battery. Here’s the best purported leaked photo we’ve seen yet:

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