As rumors about what the ‘iPhone 7’ update will include have reached wide consensus (similar design to iPhone 6s, redesigned antenna lines, new cameras, removal of headphone jack), news about availability and release date are starting to surface. Evan Blass, @evleaks, said he believes the iPhone 7 will be released week of September 12. Over the weekend, he strengthened his claim by indicating that his claim is referring to the retail release date, specifically that the new iPhone will go on sale on Friday, September 16th …

A September 16 date for new iPhone availability is a tad earlier than usual, ever since the iPhone moved to a September release month. Last year, the iPhone 6s hit stores for retail availability on September 25. The iPhone 6 debuted on September 19 in 2014 and the 2013 iPhone 5s was September 20.

With a sooner-than-usual release date for retail availability, this also pushes the expected date for Apple’s media press announcement.

The typical window is a two-week wait between announcement and release. This is not feasible in the 2016 calendar assuming a Friday September 16 release unless the event happened in late August. Assuming Apple wants to stay in the September timeframe, the most likely dates are September 5 or September 6 with pre-orders on that Friday (September 9) with the official launch just a week later. Apple should sent press invites for this event in mid-August which will officially confirm the date.

Blass is well known in the technology community for product leaks, especially regarding Android devices, although his record on Apple leaks is not perfect. He suggested that the 6s, 6s Plus and 6c would launch concurrently in 2015. It transpired the 4-inch iPhone SE would not debut until the following March.

Independent from Blass’s report, a report from Apfelpage suggests Apple may not call the device the iPhone 7 after all. It says Chinese supply chain sources have seen packaging and labelling that indicates the new phone will be called the ‘iPhone 6SE’. Given the more-iterative changes and similar design, it is not out of the question for Apple to brand the new iPhone as a continuation of the iPhone 6 line.

Personally, 6SE is a bit too much of a mouthful but who knows? With Apple breaking its typical tick-tock cycle of hardware launches, the name is up in the air. Apple could employ a new suffix, like 6X, or even a word like ‘Pro’ to denote the refinements over last year’s hardware.

The most likely option is probably iPhone 7 but it’s not impossible to think that Apple will change up its naming scheme alongside the juncture in product strategy. A significant design revamp, with glass enclosure and edge-to-edge screen, is reportedly set for the 2017 iPhone. Apple is seemingly moving to a 3-year major refresh cycle going forward for new iPhone hardware.

If the report is true, we’ll have the new iPhone in our hands in a month and a half. We’ll be looking for Apple to send out press invites to a media event in late August. The iPhone 7 is unlikely to be the only new hardware to be announced, the event will likely also feature the Apple Watch 2 and maybe new Macs or iPad updates. Stay tuned to 9to5Mac for the latest on iPhone 7 and Apple’s fall product announcements in general.

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