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If you’re eager to buy the next iPhone, you’ll want to know when you can. Up until now, one date has seemed a shoo-in, and it’s the date I’ve been sure about, and for good reasons, but a new report claims that may have been wrong, all along. The next unveiling event will be very big, it seems, almost certainly including the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, three new Apple Watch models and AirPods Pro 2.

So, if it’s sooner than the expected date of Tuesday, September 13, that can only be good news for those who just can’t wait.

So, when’s the date?

The new rumor came, in the last few hours, from established leaker and commenter, Max Weinbach. He has tweeted in response to Mark Gurman’s latest comments about the next Apple event.

Weinbach claims that it’s possible that Tuesday, September 6, not September 13, will be the big unveiling.

This change would mean that the release date will come forward, too. Instead of the predicted onsale date of Friday, September 23, the iPhones, Watches and AirPods would be in customers’ hands on Friday, September 16.

My previous post suggested that September 6 was a possible date, but with one big proviso.

Until now, it had been presumed that Apple would be doing this next event in person after the partial return to live, in-person events with this year’s WWDC. In which case, September 6 seemed impossible, given that Apple needs to fly people in to Cupertino the day before, that is, Monday, September 5. This year, that day is Labor Day, a public holiday.

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What’s changed?

However, according to Mark Gurman in his latest Power On newsletter, Apple has now started recording its next keynote, with the spectacularly high production values to which we’ve become accustomed. In turn, this suggests that there will not be an in-person event, thus removing the problem of flying people worldwide on a public holiday.

Are you sure?

Glad you asked. Actually, I’m skeptical that there won’t be some in-person presence. These are Apple’s biggest products of the year, all being revealed on the same day. Personally, I don’t think a pre-recorded keynote means there’ll be nobody there to physically get their hands on the new hardware.

After all, the hybrid event format for WWDC—polished recording played live to a small number of developers and press who were then able to try out the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro—worked amazingly well.

Well, what does that mean, then?

Here’s my guess. Either Tuesday, September 13 unveil and Friday, September 23 are still the right schedule, or things will move forward by almost a week, to the week commencing Monday, September 5.

This would mean either Tuesday, September 6 or Wednesday, September 7 for the reveal. In either case, the onsale date would be Friday, September 16.

If it’s the earlier week, my money is on the Wednesday, September 7 as it swerves the problem of flying press and staff on a holiday.

Why would Apple want an earlier date?

Good point. After all, it has chosen a Tuesday near to the middle of September for most of its big unveils in recent years, apart from the Covid-exceptional year of 2020.

But an onsale date of September 16 gives Apple a whole extra week of sales in the quarter that closes on September 30. This is a definite benefit for Apple’s financials.

Anything else we can deduce?

If Weinbach is right, then there’s one definite thing we can bank on: rumors of a delay to the iPhone 14 Max are probably unfounded. It’s still possible that the special event could announce four iPhones but say that one or two are coming later, though I think this is less likely.

So far, there aren’t reports to corroborate Weinbach, and even he says it’s not 100% definite, but it’s an appealing prospect.

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