Welcome to our guide to Apple's yearly event calendar, in which we offer our predictions about when the next event will be held. But in a nutshell, and at time of writing (26 April), we believe the next Apple press event will be WWDC 2017, starting on 5 June. Read on for more details.

We all love a good Apple event: pre-launch speculation, mysterious invitations, warm-up music, a bit of the old Tim Cook razzle-dazzle and then a bunch of new products. But if only we knew when they were going to happen, we could plan our schedules and budgets to suit.

Well, you're in luck, because the grizzled Apple pundits here at Macworld have drawn on their experience covering this secretive company to give you a strong - albeit not infallible - guide to when the next Apple event will be held. Read next: Apple predictions 2017

Apple's yearly event cycle

Occasionally Apple will drop a product on an unsuspecting public like a thunderbolt from a clear sky. But mostly it follows a recognisable pattern.

The company's yearly calendar has some regular signposts you can use to orient yourself. These are the Apple events that will happen pretty much every year:

March/April: Spring Event

This is Apple's first foray back into the spotlight after the Christmas rush. Apple spring events tend to be hardware-focused, although there have been mentions of point updates for iOS too.

In 2015 Apple held an event called 'Spring Forward' on 9 March, where it announced pricing and the launch date for the original Apple Watch and unveiled the first 12-inch MacBook. On 21 March 2016 at the 'Let us loop you in' event, we got the iPhone SE, the iPad Pro 9.7 and iOS 9.3.

When is Apple's next event: Let us loop you in

Spring 2017 has been a bit of a disappointment for Apple followers: instead of a full-blown event the company quietly closed down its online store then sent out a press release announcing the launch of the iPad 2017 and the red iPhone 7.

Still, it looks like Apple is finished for the season, so we'd expect the next spring event in March or April 2018.

June: WWDC

WWDC stands for Worldwide Developer Conference. This is an overwhelmingly software-focused event, where Apple announces the flagship features in its annual operating system updates for the benefit of its software developer partners who will have to update their software to work with the new OS.

At WWDC 2016 Apple announced macOS Sierra and iOS 10, and released beta versions of each; the final public releases wouldn't come until the autumn but this was the first chance to see what was going to be included.

When is the next Apple event: WWDC 2016

Apple does sometimes launch hardware at WWDC, however. The trashcan Mac Pro made its first appearance at WWDC 2013.

WWDC 2017, where we expect to hear about iOS 11 and macOS 10.13, as well as updates to tvOS and watchOS, has been announced so we know exactly when it will happen: 5-9 June. The ticket lottery has closed but it's still possible to get in: here's how to get WWDC tickets.

September: The iPhone update

The biggest event of the year for Apple fans. In 2017 Apple is currently expected to launch the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, although until recently the consensus was that three iPhones would be announced.

In the past Apple has sometimes followed up its September press event with another smaller do in October; back in the day this would be an iPad launch but in 2016 it was the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

When is the next Apple event: MacBook Pro with Touch Bar