Apple will launch the iPhone 7 on September 16, according to known and generally reliable leaker Evan Blass, aka @evleaks.
Blass offered his prognostication via a tweet on Saturday, saying the new iPhone will launch the week of September 12 and then specifying September 16 as the actual rollout date to consumers. The forecast is a safe bet given that Apple typically kicks off a new iPhone around mid-September with a Friday as opening day so the company can rake in a full weekend of initial sales.
September 16 is slightly earlier compared with 2015 when the iPhone 6S rolled out on September 25. But Apple generally likes to count on a couple of weeks of sales for new iPhones each September. This way the sales can help boost results for the company's fiscal fourth quarter, which runs from July through September.
Analysts and Apple watchers will be closely eyeing the iPhone 7. Apple phone sales dropped for the first time during the first three months of 2016 and likely did the same in the second calendar quarter. Apple needs to find a way to boost demand for its phone. However, many reports say this year's iPhone will sport only minor changes and that next year's edition will be the one outfitted with sexy, must-have features.
Meeting with an Apple executive in May, one China-based engineer allegedly asked why this year's model would not offer a major design change, The Wall Street Journal reported last month. The alleged response from Apple was that the new technology in the pipeline would take time to implement.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects Apple to sell 41 million to 42 million iPhones in this year's third calendar quarter. That number would show a hefty drop from the 48 million sold in the same quarter in 2015.
Reports claim that this year's iPhone might jettison the traditional headphone jack, include dual speakers, add a dual camera to the iPhone 7 Plus and possibly offer a third model dubbed the iPhone 7 Pro. Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.