iOS 17: When Apple Might Release the Next iPhone OS

The company hasn't given a date yet, but this is my best guess.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
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At Apple's June keynote event, the company announced iOS 17, the next iteration of the iPhone operating system. The software is expected to include new features like Standby mode and improvements to apps like Messages when it's released to the general public. But so far the tech giant has said only that the update will come out in the fall, which isn't helpful.

If we look at past Apple events in September and earlier iOS releases though, a pattern emerges to show we should expect Apple to release iOS 17 a few days after this year's September event. 

A crystal ball with hands hovering over it

I don't have a crystal ball so this will have to do.

Getty Images

I reached out to Apple about when it planned on holding its September event and when it was planning to release iOS 17. The company didn't respond, but here's when I think Apple will release iOS 17 based on what I see in my crystal ball.

When is Apple's September event?

On Tuesday, Apple said this year's September event, which the company dubbed "Wonderlust," will be held at 10 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Sept. 12. This falls within Apple's usual timeline of holding the event in mid- to late September.

What makes you think iOS 17 will come out shortly after the event?

Apple might be secretive, but it's also a little predictable. 

For more than a decade, Apple has consistently held events every June and September. The company might have other special events in March (see 2022) or October (see 2021) but its June and September events happen every year like clockwork.

And after most of Apple's September events, the company released the next iOS within the following week. In 2018, for example, Apple's event was held on Sept. 12 (sound familiar?) and it released iOS 12 five days later on Sept. 17. 

There have only been three years over the past decade where it took longer than a week for Apple to release the next iOS version -- 2019, 2014 and 2013. Even in those instances, Apple still released the next iOS version eight or nine days after its September event. 

The number of days between Apple's September event and the release of the next iOS version has also trended downward over the past decade. In 2013, Apple released iOS 7 on Sept. 18, eight days after its Sept. 10 event, and last year Apple released iOS 16 on Sept. 12, five days after the company's Sept. 7 event.

A bar graph showing how many days after Apple's September events the company has released the next iOS version
Zach McAuliffe/CNET

So my guess is Apple will release iOS 17 either five or six days after its September event this year.

What days of the week were past iOS versions released on?

All the iOS version updates were released during the week over the past decade. Apple released nine of the past 10 iOS versions between Monday and Wednesday and one iOS version on a Thursday. Apple hasn't released an iOS version on Friday, Saturday or Sunday over the past decade.

Wednesdays and Mondays are popular days for Apple to release iOS versions, with four iOS versions being released on a Wednesday and three versions on a Monday. Apple also released two iOS versions on Tuesday. So it's more likely that Apple will release iOS 17 on a Monday or Wednesday.

Look, just tell me when iOS 17 will be released

If Apple were to release iOS 17 five or six days after the company's event on Sept. 12, we'd see the new operating system on Sept. 17 or 18.

Man looking upset at a board full of papers

How I looked writing this story.


But Apple historically doesn't release iOS updates on the weekend, and Sept. 17 is a Sunday this year, so we can rule out that day. 

Apple is also historically more likely to release an iOS version on a Monday, so I can say with confidence that Apple will likely release iOS 17 on Monday, Sept. 18. You heard it here first.

For more on Apple, check out what iOS 17 features I'm excited about and how to download the iOS 17 public beta now.