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When will the iPhone 13 get released? What we know

It may seem like the iPhone 12 just came out, but Apple is already looking toward the iPhone 13. Here's what we know about a potential 2021 Apple event and release date.

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The iPhone 12 Pro Max was released in October.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It's been six months since the iPhone 12 went on sale, and Apple is 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, though there is an Apple event coming up on April 20, potentially to unveil the AirPods 3, AirTags trackersiOS 14.5 and other rumored products. 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. A March 24 report based on supply chain information also points to a late September iPhone 13 release date. And an April report from DigiTimes cited industry insiders who said production for the phones' new chips is ahead of schedule, which should put the phone release back on a familiar, prepandemic timeline. 

Read more: Every iPhone 13 rumor we've heard so far, including how much the iPhone 13 will cost

If all of 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. 

Now playing: Watch this: iPhone 13 rumor roundup
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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