Figuring out when the new iPhone comes out isn't an exact science--at least not until Apple makes an announcement of a release date. But, based on history, you can make an educated guess.
Most likely, new iPhone models will come out in September or October, every year.
We can say this based on the release dates of previous iPhones:
- iPhone 5: Sept. 21, 2012
- iPhone 4S: Oct. 14
- iPhone 4: June 24, 2010
- iPhone 3GS: June 19, 2009
- iPhone 3G: July 2008
- iPhone: June 2007
As you can see, the first four iPhones were released in June or July. That changed with the release of the iPhone 4S. This change seems to be due to the new iPad models now being released in March or April of each year and Apple not wanting to release its flagship products so close together.
While it was unclear whether the fall release of the iPhone 4S was a one-time instance, with the September release of the iPhone 5, it seems likely that all new iPhone models will now be released in the fall.
Should You Upgrade?
The other important question is whether you should wait for the release of a new iPhone model before you upgrade.
If you're considering upgrading any time in the first half of a year, I'd recommend waiting.
Since we can guess with some confidence that the new iPhone will come out in September or October of each year, it makes sense to wait for the early fall if you're planning to upgrade. After all, why buy a phone that won't be the latest and greatest in just a couple months if you could get the newest thing by waiting?
Your decision will be driven by whether your current phone can last that long--is it broken or malfunctioning, for instance--but if you can wait until fall, do so. And then you can enjoy the new iPhone.
Last Updated: Sept. 19, 2012
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