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iPhone 5S Release Date: What to Expect



The iPhone 5S release date is getting closer with Apple all but confirmed to be holding an iPhone related event on September 10th. And while consumers still don’t have a concrete release date in hand, and won’t until Apple makes the device official, there are some things that prospective iPhone 5S buyers can expect from the upcoming iPhone 5S release date.

For months, iPhone 5S rumors have waged on, suggesting the iPhone 5’s successor will be an ‘S’ model of the iPhone with some incremental hardware changes and no redesign. The device is expected to boast a 4-inch Retina Display, like the iPhone 5, a faster processor, a much better camera, and quite possibly, a fingerprint reader. It, like the iPhone 5, will run iOS 7 though it could be that the iPhone 5S features a unique feature or two to help sell it to consumers.

The iPhone 5S is expected to be joined by the iPhone 5C, a cheaper plastic iPhone that should be aimed at the low-cost market and unlocked devices like the Nexus 4. Like the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5C is rumored to be making a debut on September 10th.

Apple hasn’t announced a launch date for its new iPhone just yet but signs are pointing to the device making an appearance in just a few weeks. Rumors  suggested that the smartphone would touch down in September and it has become clear that September will be the month that the iPhone 5S makes it debut.

Sources have settled on September 10th for the iPhone 5S launch date and it’s then that we expect to hear all about Apple’s new iPhone model. Or models. Included in Apple’s announcement should be something about the iPhone 5S release date which has seen several rumors crop up ahead of its launch date. And while the smoke has yet to settle around the iPhone 5S release date, there are some things that consumers can expect based on rumors, based on history and based on logic.

Here is what to expect from Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5S release date.

iPhone 5S Release a Few Weeks After Launch

There have been two specific iPhone 5S release date rumors that have popped up in recent days, with both suggesting two very different things. The first rumor claimed that the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C release dates would fall on October 25th, or, more than a month after Apple is expected to announce the devices. The other, a September 20th release date for both devices, or, a day before the iPhone 5 was released last year.

Read: iPhone 5S Release Date Rumored for September 20th.

The iPhone 5S is taking shape as we come within a month of the rumored iPhone 5S launch.

The iPhone 5S release date should arrive just a week or two after its launch.

Both are possible given that Apple hasn’t announced anything yet but only one is probable. September 20th lines up with every that Apple has done in the past which is to say that it likes to release its iPhone just a few weeks after announcing it. If Apple were to push the iPhone launch into October, October 25th would make sense but given the strong pull from September 10th, September 20th is certainly the front-runner.

As we’ve pointed out, Apple’s Q4 earnings guidance points to a release date ahead of September 28th and September 20th falls in line with that. It could be that September 20th isn’t the exact day but at this point, iPhone 5S buyers should expect the release date to fall in and around the latter half of September and not in October or November.

One Major iPhone 5S U.S. Release Date

Companies like HTC and Samsung usually give vague release dates at their launch events and for good reason. Carriers exert their influence over the exact dates, leaving them with no choice but to do so. With Apple, we generally see the company give out a specific release date at its launch events, shunning carrier announcements.

Expect a similar 4-inch display for the iPhone 5S.

Expect to see a single iPhone 5S release date for major U.S. carriers.

iPhone 5S buyers should expect the same to occur with the iPhone 5S. That means a release date announced at the launch event and a release that date encompasses all of the major U.S. carriers that will carry the iPhone 5S. That means one release date for the likes of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon.

We’ve seen it happen in the past and we should see it happen again.

Smaller Carriers Will Get It Later

There will likely be other carriers that get the iPhone 5S, carriers like Cricket Wireless and C Spire Wireless. And perhaps, even smaller carriers than that if Apple sticks to its roots. Buyers on these smaller regional carriers should expect their release dates to fall a few days, weeks or months after the big boys get their dibs.

Last year, we saw C Spire get the iPhone 5 on September 28th, just a week after the initial September 21st release and we expect similar from the carrier and carriers like it this time around.

A Pre-Order

If Apple does announce the iPhone 5S on September 10th and tags it with a release date of September 20th, that leaves 10 days between launch and release. This is just a day longer than the span between the iPhone 5 launch and release which took place on September 12th and September 21st respectively.

iPhone 5 pre-orders were a nightmare for many last year.

iPhone 5 pre-orders were a nightmare for many last year.

During that time frame, Apple offered a pre-order on the iPhone 5 which started on September 14th at midnight and lasted up until the device was released a few days later. The company received millions of orders within the first few hours of availability.

History should repeat itself with the iPhone 5S. We should see a pre-order ahead of the release date that offers those who wish to get the phone on release day, the chance to do so.

Limited Supply

The iPhone 5 was in great demand thanks to its improvements and it quickly became clear that Apple was going to be dealing with some supply issues. Those supply issues forced some pre-orderers to wait for several days, and even weeks, before their iPhone 5 arrived and the device remained scarce in the weeks after September 21st.

The iPhone 5 was in limited supply last year. The iPhone 5S should be as well.

The iPhone 5 was in limited supply last year. The iPhone 5S should be as well.

Rumors have suggested that supply issues could afflict the iPhone 5S as well, in part because it may be coming with a fingerprint reader that evidently has been difficult to source. So while it’s not for sure, buyers should expect a sell out of the iPhone 5S in the hours or days after a pre-order begins.

What this means is that buyers who want their device early should pre-order, just to be safe. Those who miss out on the initial batch will be able to head into retail stores on release day but from experience, it’s simply going to be hit or miss as many stores don’t have a large supply.


Last year, the iPhone 5 pre-order was a chaotic event. Those trying to pre-order encountered busted websites, both at Apple and through carriers like AT&T, and we saw all sorts of buyers complain about issues with their pre-orders in the days after purchasing the device.

Apple and company have had a year to try and solve the release date dilemmas that they have faced in years past but we still expect there to be issues with the pre-order and issues on release day. Exactly what those issues will be are obviously unknown but this likely won’t be a flawless release no matter how hard the companies involved try.

Retail Availability

Those who miss out on the pre-order will likely be able to head into a variety of retail outlets to attempt to pick up the device. Retailers like Best Buy and RadioShack typically have day one availability. Problem is, they are usually very low on stock or completely out of stock. Last year, the Best Buy iPhone 5 release experience was less than optimal thanks to limited supply.

Read: Best Buy iPhone 5 Pre-Order Isn’t Worth It.

Retailers will likely have the iPhone 5S available. Sort of.

Retailers will likely have the iPhone 5S available. Sort of.

That leaves consumers with the lines at Apple Stores. These are going to be the best bet for those looking to buy in-store on release date but even then, a purchase isn’t guaranteed.

iOS 7 Release Date First

Expect the iOS 7 release date, at least for the iPhone, to come first. Generally, Apple offers an iOS release date at its iPhone launch events as well and we expect the same at its iPhone 5S launch. We also expect Apple to continue a trend and release iOS 7 to its older devices prior to the iPhone 5S release date.

It could be that Apple’s roll out plays out like this:

  • iPhone 5S Event – September 10th
  • iOS 7 Release – September 16th
  • iPhone 5C & iPhone 5S Release Date – September 20th

Rumors suggest that the iOS 7 update for iPad could be delayed, possibly into October, though that remains unconfirmed. We did see the iPad iOS 7 beta roll out later than the iPhone beta, a sign that this is possible.

iPhone 5C Release in Same Vicinity

Finally, consumers should expect the iPhone 5C release date to fall in the same vicinity as the iPhone 5S release. Again, Apple loves to push out its iPhone just weeks after announcing it so if the iPhone 5C does show up on September 10th, it’s hard to think that a release will come months in the distance.

The only two specific iPhone release rumors we’ve seen thus far have both included the iPhone 5C in the iPhone 5S release date and at this point, it’s safe to assume that it will land on the same day, or around the same day as the iPhone 5S release date.



  1. Chuck

    08/20/2013 at 7:23 pm

    I’m not gonna lie, this is gonna suck if I’m gonna have to wait till October 22 for my iPhone 5s, if it’s September 20 that is so much better, because I’ve been waiting since June for a new phone. Thank god the time is getting closer

    • Farren

      08/29/2013 at 11:01 am

      I know the feeling!

  2. jay

    08/21/2013 at 12:45 am

    can u please make it sure that this iphone 5s will be release this coming sept 20,2013.i have been waiting to release since june,so please release it as soon as posible,i have been wonder that this kind of iphone will be mind as soon as this will be release on sept 20…im hoping that the month of sept will be.thank god an that time will be getting closer.

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