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When will Apple’s iPhone 15 go on sale in stores?

Published Sep 6th, 2023 2:21PM EDT
iPhone 14 design.
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The iPhone 15 launch event is set to take place on Tuesday, September 12th. The keynote date is all the information longtime iPhone users would need to determine the iPhone 15 release date. That’s Friday, September 22nd, 10 days after the launch event.

Apple won’t confirm the release date until the end of the show. But considering the company has maintained the same iPhone launch pattern for years, there’s no indication it’ll change it anytime soon. The company could shake things up though, especially this year. But I wouldn’t expect the iPhone 15 phones to go on sale right after the September 12th launch event.

How Apple sells new iPhones

Since Apple moved its iPhone launch event from June to September all those years ago, it has maintained the same basic playbook. New iPhones are announced during a special event on a Tuesday or Wednesday. That’s September 12th, a Tuesday, for the iPhone 15 series.

The first Friday after that, preorders for the new iPhone start online. In this case, we’re looking at September 15th for the iPhone 15 series.

The new iPhone’s release date, and the date Apple ships preordered handsets to buyers, is the second Friday after the keynote. With that in mind, the official iPhone 15 release date is September 22nd, 2023.

Apple has used this release pattern even in years when certain iPhones were delayed.

Will the iPhone 15 change things?

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman shared a tidbit about Apple’s plans for its retail stores on iPhone 15 launch day:

Apple retail stores will be doing updates the night of September 12th after the event. This implies that some new products could see near-immediate availability — or that they’ll simply be quickly putting up new marketing materials.

This prompted speculation that Apple might start selling the iPhone 15 as soon as the event is over, even though Gurman clearly notes that Apple might be simply putting up new marketing materials on the day the iPhone 15 is announced.

Given Apple’s well-oiled iPhone launch machine, I wouldn’t expect the iPhone 15 series to get special treatment. I don’t think Apple will change how it sells iPhones, though I could be wrong.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro bezels comparison
iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro bezels comparison Image source: yeux1122

This is a special year for the iPhone, marking the switch to a USB-C port. But that’s certainly not enough for Apple to want to start sales sooner than expected. However, It could be a good reason to begin promoting the connector change early in stores, especially if Apple plans to make a big deal about the convenience of USB-C ports on the iPhone 15.

Even without such a big design change, Apple has a big reason to start marketing the iPhone 15 early. Smartphone sales are down across the industry this year, with Apple’s rivals being mostly impacted.

Apple has a large base of users who keep upgrading to new iPhones despite the economic climate. It’s the reason Apple can afford to increase iPhone 15 Pro prices this year, fully knowing that customers will still purchase the handset.

But success isn’t guaranteed, and every second of marketing counts. Apple might want its stores to have iPhone 15 signage up immediately after Tim Cook & Co. end their presentation on Tuesday. That way, buyers will be exposed to the iPhone 15 soon after the event, regardless of whether or not they watched the show.

One more thing

Apple is also going to launch new Apple Watch models next week, including the Series 9 and the Ultra 2. On top of that, a USB-C AirPods Pro 2 model should be unveiled at the iPhone 15 show.

But I don’t think the new Apple Watches will get an early launch. As for the USB-C AirPods, they don’t necessarily need that much marketing attention.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.