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iPhone 11: Here's when Apple will announce the 2019 iPhones

We were correct: Apple will unveil the iPhone 11 on Sept. 10.

iphone-xs-1

The Apple iPhone XS.

Angela Lang/CNET

On Thursday, Aug. 29 Apple finally sent out invites for its iPhone 11 launch event. We were right! The iPhone 11 will launch on Sept. 10 in Cupertino. What follows is our original prediction piece below.

Though Apple hasn't set out invitations to any iPhone events yet, the tech giant needs to whip up something exciting if it wants to get users hyped about the next iPhone 11, 11R and 11 Max (or whatever they'll be called). With iPhone sales falling 12% in the fiscal third quarter, profits expected to dip to $9.6 billion and more people trading in their iPhones for Androids, Apple needs to make sure its new flagship phones are compelling enough to draw new customers or keep current customers updated. Not to mention, its main rival Samsung took the wraps off its Note 10, Note 10 Plus and Note 10 5G on Aug. 7, and the phones are looking pretty great so far.

Read more: iPhone 11: 8 features I want real bad

So when will Apple officially announce the 2019 iPhones? Based on previous years, I predict Apple will unveil the next iPhones on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Keep in mind this is just an educated guess, and we have no confirmation from Apple itself if this date is correct (Apple didn't immediately reply to a request to comment.) However, there are a few reasons why this is the likeliest date.

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For the past seven years Apple has announced iPhones either in the same week as Labor Day, which is on the first Monday in September, or the following week. In the past, if the US holiday occurred on Sept. 3 or earlier, Apple announced its iPhone the following week. When Labor Day landed on the Sept. 5 or later, as it did in 2015 and 2016, Apple announced the iPhone the following Wednesday (two days after Labor Day). Peep the chart below to see what I mean:

Apple iPhone release and announcement dates (2012-2018)

iPhone model and year Announcement date Release date
iPhone XS/XS Max (2018) Wednesday, Sept. 12 Friday, Sept. 21
iPhone 8/8 Plus (2017)   Tuesday, Sept. 12   Friday, Sept. 22  
iPhone 7/7 Plus (2016)   Wednesday, Sept. 7   Friday, Sept. 16  
iPhone 6S/6S Plus (2015)   Wednesday, Sept. 9   Friday, Sept. 25   
iPhone 6/6 Plus (2014)   Tuesday, Sept. 9   Friday, Sept. 19   
iPhone 5S (2013)   Tuesday, Sept. 10 Friday, Sept. 20  
iPhone 5 (2012)   Wednesday, Sept. 12   Friday, Sept. 21

This year, Labor Day is on Monday, Sept. 2. Keeping with the pattern, Apple would announce its new iPhones the following Tuesday or Wednesday: Sept. 10 or Sept. 11. Either date fits the pattern, but since the news cycle on Sept. 11 is best avoided for obvious reasons, I'd go with Sept. 10 as the safer bet. I also predict preorders will kick off that Friday, Sept. 13.

The date also aligns with the expected in-store release and shipping dates too, which I expect to both fall on Friday, Sept. 20. For the last seven years, you could purchase the regular flagship iPhones on a Friday, around the third week of September, about a week and a half after Apple makes its announcements. Specialty iPhones, like the iPhone XR, iPhone X and iPhone SE shipped out on their own timelines. Because the iPhone XR was available in October, there's a chance the iPhone 11R will be in users' hands in October too.

There you have it. I believe Apple will announce the new iPhone 11s on Sept. 10, with preorders on Sept. 13 and shipping starting Sept. 20. Again, without Apple's confirmation these are just predictions, but we'll find out soon enough if I'm correct. Last year I wagered a can of Coke if I turned out to be right, which I was. (I'm still waiting for that soda BTW.) If I'm correct this year I shall wager... a box of Pocky.

Originally published Aug. 5, 2019.
Update, Aug. 29: Adds Apple's iPhone 11 event invitations.