Every year, for the past six years, Apple has released a new iPhone with the latest release being the iPhone 5 which was released back on September 21st. This year should be no different as the company is almost certainly going to be releasing a new iPhone, a device that isn’t expected to be the iPhone 6 but the iPhone 5S. And while the iPhone 5S has leaked out numerous times, one its most important details, its release date, remains unclear.
For months now, rumors of a new iPhone model have surfaced with all signs pointing to the release of an ‘S’ series iPhone rather than a number iPhone. What this means is that Apple will likely retain the design of the iPhone 5 but add some significant upgrades to make it a worthwhile upgrade for those looking to snag a new device.
The new iPhone is said to be the iPhone 5S, a device that will definitely have the new iOS 7 on board and one that should come with a number of hardware changes including a faster processor (either an A6X or A7 chip), an improved camera that can not only take better photos and video but take better photos and video in less than perfect environments, and more than likely, some type of unique feature that separates it from the iPhone 5.
Rumors suggest that this may be software that allows users to shoot footage at 120fps or slow-motion footage with the camera. It’s also possible that the device will have a fingerprint scanner for extra security. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that a new iPhone, with new features, will be coming to shelves at some point this year. It’s just a question of when.
At the moment, that’s a hard question to answer because Apple has yet to issue any invitations to an iPhone event. However, there are numerous rumors and theories out there and it’s time to take a look at a few of them in an effort to give consumers a better grasp of the iPhone 5S release date situation.
iPhone 5S Release Date Rumors
Analysts Say September Release
So what are the iPhone 5S rumors saying? Unfortunately, not much, though that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Typically, until we get closer to the iPhone release, rumors come from analysts who are in tune with the supply lines in countries where iPhone parts are produced. And while they likely mean well, often, their information is inaccurate.
Case in point, earlier this year, analysts believed that Apple would launch the iPhone 5S in the summer, possibly in July. Whether that was a rumor planted by Apple itself remains to be seen, but we still haven’t seen a device replace the iPhone 5. With WWDC 2013 over and done, all signs are pointing to a fall release with Apple CEO Tim Cook himself saying that the company had product launches for the fall.
Analysts have perked up once again and this time, they are in agreement that the iPhone 5S release date will come in September. No specific date has been mentioned though we should see one arrive in just a few weeks.
Specific Dates to Arrive Near End of July
If the iPhone 5S release date is indeed in September as rumors suggest, then it could mean that we hear more about specifics come the end of July, beginning of August.
Typically, specific dates regarding Apple launch events aren’t known until about a month or so before their arrival. Last year for instance, we saw the September 12th launch date emerge at the end of July. With the iPhone 4S, things started to come together towards the end of August, a little later because the iPhone 4S arrived in October rather than in September.
Point is, those looking for a specific iPhone 5S release date should temper their expectations for a few weeks as anything that comes out now is likely to be based on a theory.
iPhone 5S Release Date Theories
iOS 7 Beta
Speaking of theories, there are two in particular that are worth mentioning when it comes to the iPhone 5S release. The first, of course, is the iOS 7 beta timeline.
Apple typically keeps its new software in beta for about 60-90 days. The first iOS 7 beta was released on June 10th. Looking ahead, 60 days from June 10th is August 9th while 90 days from June 10th is September 8th. Of course, these numbers aren’t firm and certainly aren’t exact. They are just rough estimates.
As we’ve noted, the average iOS beta period is about 97 days, a number that is skewed by the iOS 5 beta which took 128 days and was one of the biggest overhauls to iOS before iOS 7. This iOS version release date history chart from Will Hains that shows exactly how long it has taken Apple to move from beta to Gold Master.
iOS 7 of course is an even bigger undertaking and a massive change from the previous versions. What that means is that it could take a little longer to test. Or not. It’s hard to say. So while this theory is nice, it’s unable to pin point the iPhone 5S release date exactly.
Back to School Deal
Another theory that has emerged is the timing of Apple’s Back to School deal which started on July 2nd and lasts until September 6th. Last year, Apple’s Back to School deal ended September 21st, the same day as the iPhone 5 release. The year before that, it ended on September 21st, though the device arrived in October.
This year’s deal ends much sooner though it should be noted that unlike the deal from last year, the iPhone is included with discounts offered on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5. This could be perceived as Apple offering incentive in an effort to clear inventory ahead of an iPhone 5S release. Toss in the timing of last year’s deal and September 6th looks like a possibility for a release.
Problem is, that would likely mean a launch in August, and thus far, we haven’t seen any sign of an Apple event taking place in August. So while this theory is nice, like the iOS 7 beta one, it’s hard to believe.
When Is the iPhone 5S Release Date?
At this point, despite the rumors, despite the theories, it’s impossible to say. While these theories do make some sense, they don’t point to anything in particular and they are extremely flawed. And when it comes to the iPhone 5S rumors, they all come from analysts who have been proven time and time again to be inaccurate.
So when is the iPhone 5S release date? Well, thanks to Tim Cook and the holiday shopping season, we know that it will likely land sometime this fall. That means that it could land anytime between September 21st, which is technically the last day of summer, and December 20th.
Rumors and theories aside, logic suggests that it will be out sometime ahead of the holiday shopping season which more than likely means a release sometime in the early part of the season. Exactly when though, remains to be seen.