Apple's yearly iPhone launches aren't much of a secret, nor is their broad timing - they always happen in the autumn, and they usually happen in September. (Last year was an exception, with the event pushed back to October because of COVID.) But Apple is hugely secretive about the precise date.
Yet one analyst reckons he's on to the secret info. Dan Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, today sent out a note to clients in which he predicted that the iPhone 13 would be announced in the third week of September, and since - as Cult of Mac, which has seen the note, points out - Apple's iPhone events are generally on a Tuesday, that points clearly to 14 September as the fateful day.
If we ignore the unusual circumstances of autumn 2020, that date would fit closely with Apple's previous behaviour. The iPhone 11 was announced on 10 September 2019; the XS and XR on 12 September 2018; and the iPhone X on 12 September 2017. Mid-September is the centre of gravity for iPhone launches, and Apple keeps drifting back to that point.
With helpful timing, earlier today we covered reports that Apple has decided to push back its return to the office from September to October at the earliest. This suggests that the iPhone 13 launch will be another virtual event rather than one held in person - although these online sessions have been so successful that we've argued that Apple should make them a fixture even after the pandemic is over.
Is the information dependable?
It's probably better to regard this as a sensible prediction based on historical evidence, rather than a leak of secret insider info.
Dan Ives isn't an omniscient oracle with a track record of accurate predictions to point to (Wedbush as a whole is rated as just 69.2% accurate on AppleTrack), but nor is he a Twitter random. Ives is an industry watcher with a good understanding of the history and behaviour of the consumer tech market, but there's no suggestion that he bases his predictions on sources within the companies he reports on.
In other words, there's a good chance this is right, but we wouldn't depend on it.
"Massive pent-up demand"
Elsewhere in the investor note, Ives suggests that the iPhone 13 will not merely match the (hugely successful) iPhone 12, but easily surpass it in terms of sales, arguing that many fans of the company have been putting off phone upgrades for three to four years.
"We believe the robust consumer product cycle continues globally," he writes, "especially with roughly 250 million of the current 975 million iPhones not upgrading their smartphones in over 3.5 years based on our analysis, speaking to massive pent up demand."
Ives isn't alone in having high expectations of the next iPhone. Earlier this month we learned that Apple has ordered 90 million units of the new handsets just to last until the end of the calendar year; that's 20% higher than for the equivalent period last year.
If you're as excited about the new iPhone as the analysts are, you'll want to check out the latest rumours in our iPhone 13 news hub. If you can't wait until the autumn, pick up a bargain on the current range with our roundup of the best iPhone deals, the best of which are embedded below.
1. Apple iPhone 13 Pro
Now: £939.51 (£9.49 off)
It's tough to find a discount on the brand-new iPhone 13 Pro, but KRCS is often the exception. This 1% saving isn't much, but it's better than nothing.
2. Apple iPhone SE (2020, with unlimited data)
From: iD Mobile
Now: No upfront cost, £22.99 per month (£551.76 TCO)
Having bumped up the data allocation from 20GB to 50GB back in June (while simultaneously knocking £30 off the total cost), iD has now decided to offer unlimited data without increasing the price. This is the best offer currently available on the iPhone SE (2020).
3. Apple iPhone 12 (with unlimited data)
From: iD Mobile
Now: £29.99 upfront, £34.99 per month (£869.75 TCO)
iD is performing miracles with its contracts right now. Back in June the firm more than doubled the data allocation on this iPhone 12 deal while slashing £76 off the price. Now it's offering unlimited data, and has knocked off another £20. A superb deal.
4. Apple iPhone 12 mini, 60GB data & free Nintendo Switch
From: Mobile Phones Direct
Now: No upfront cost, £55 per month
Get the iPhone 12 mini and a Nintendo Switch console from Mobile Phones Direct, complete with 60GB of data on O2.
5. Apple iPhone XR (128GB)
Now: £479 (£70 off)
The iPhone XR has fallen in price several times since it launched, from an initial £799 to £549 - and now, as part of the reshuffle caused by the iPhone 13 launch, it's been discontinued. This is a good price, but think carefully about whether a phone of this age (it launched in 2018) is right for you.