Apple iPhone 5 and iPad mini event planned for September 12, iPhone 5 release date for September 21

iMore has learned that Apple is planning to debut the new iPhone at a special event on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, with the release date to follow 9 days later on Friday, September 21. This information comes from sources who have proven accurate in the past.

The iPad mini will be announced at the same September 12 event, as will the new iPod nano. We haven't heard a release date for the iPad mini yet, but it could be the same as the iPhone 5. It seems likely the new iPod touch will make an appearance on September 12 as well, though we haven't heard any specific information about that yet either.

Last year, the iPhone 4S was announced on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, and released 10 days later on October 14. The event included minor updates to the iPod line, notably a white iPod touch 4. This year, the iPad 3 was announced on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, and released 9 days later on March 16. The event included a 1080p Apple TV.

Back in March, we heard Apple was targeting an October release window for the iPhone 5,1, much like last year's iPhone 4,1 (iPhone 4S). Recently, however, several reports have suggested Apple would be ready to go as early as September. Last week,, citing Chinese manufacturing sources, reported the September 21 release date.

Unlike last year, when some 16 months separated the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, a September 21 schedule would put the iPhone 5 launch at just over 11 months after the iPhone 4S.

The longer schedule last year allowed Apple to re-position the iPhone as the new, big fall product release. It took the spotlight from the iPod family that previously ruled the holiday quarter, but has waned in recent years. It also padded the time between the Verizon iPhone 4 launch, which only occurred in February of 2011, and gave four extra months for Apple to work on iOS 5, which included major new features like iCloud, Notification Center, iMessage, and Siri.

iOS 6, which was announced during Apple's WWDC 2012 keynote on June 11 and includes a new, Google-free Maps app, and Passbook, should get a final presentation during the September 12 event as well, and if Apple sticks to previous patterns, a release sometime around Wednesday, September 19.

Apple typically shows off extra, hardware-specific iOS features at new iPhone events as well. For the last few years, Apple SVP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, has demonstrated advanced camera and video recording, and Apple SVP of iOS, Scott Forstall, has demonstrated Voice Control, FaceTime, and Siri. For now, we have only educated guesses (see the conclusion) as to what else might be coming to iOS this year.

As for hardware, we're still hearing the iPad mini will be exactly like the 9.7-inch iPad, only scaled down to 7.x-inches. We originally heard Apple had a few iPhone 5 prototypes, including 3.5-inch and 4-inch versions, but recent reports and parts leaks make it look like the 4-inch, 16:9 screen version is what Apple's going with. We've also consistently heard all new iOS devices will have the new, smaller Dock connector iMore learned about back in February, which along with the nano-SIM and rumored in-cell display should leave lots of room for the LTE radio we learned about earlier in the year, and the bigger battery to go along with it.

If these announcement and release dates prove accurate, we should find out in only 6 short weeks.

Update: John Paczkowski of the Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD is now reporting the same September 12, 2012 for the Apple event.

Update 2: Jim Dalrymple of The Loop has added his trademark "yep".

Update 3: The Verge is now reporting the September 12, 2012 date as well.

Additional resources

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Rene, you are my hero. Hopefully these sources of yours prove to be as accurate as they have in the past. I was hoping for this news today, thank you iMore!
  • This is exciting if it actually is accurate like Ctheo3 said, thank you Rene and everyone at imore
  • Is it just me, or does Ritchie need to go back to College and take up English writing? Every now and then, his sentences aren't composed properly. Normally I wouldn't be so critical, but Ritchie is a pure egoist who is also an editor that should know "better".
  • and apparently you earn a living by trolling people online. why dont you lay off the condescending tone and shut the fuck up? no one cares about you or your opinion. if you don't like the level of English on this blog then don't fucking read it anymore. no one is holding a gun to your head. and the fact that you have not paid a penny for this information means you have no justification for anything you want to say that's bad.
    now please go swallow several knifes.
  • Forget to take your pill today? Sheesh...
  • Clearly you do or you would not have taken the time to post the rant of a comment that you did. Damn someone forget to take their happy pill today???
  • Come on now Potty Mouth, gotta admit Rene's pretty full of himself. Heck, I would be too if I were in his place, but neverthess, it's just a fact.
  • knifes?!?!?! really?!?!? kniFes!?!?!?!? oh boy...
  • +1
  • How do you KNOW that no one is holding a gun to Spaz888's head?
    Just wondering.
  • Sorry to say but this comment is not in good taste even if it is a joke.
    Please refrain from this kind of comments. looks like personal comment. Usually I am a reader only though I am a member. But today this comment forced me to write.
  • Hello Spaz888, Time for a lesson on composing sentences. Regarding the last word of your post, periods go inside quotation marks. Thank you.
  • Only in American English. The rest of the English world places their punctuation sensibly.
  • Before you complain about someone else's writing, clean up your own. The correct sentence should be "a pure egoist who is also and editor, he should know better." The use of the word "that" is incorrect.
    Before you go around throwing stones, make sure you don't live in a glass house.
    So pretty much's just you.
  • wow the internet makes fools of us all. You are telling someone complaining about english to make sure their english is good but yet - The correct sentence should be "a pure egoist who is also and editor, he should know better.", I'm pretty sure it's is also an editor not and editor. Anyway I've seen mistakes all over the web not only on iMore, read Yahoo much? smartphones, spellcheck and may other things make grammer and spelling less important. I've made spelling mistakes a ton of times, the point is the information being provided is the main thing not the small little spelling mistakes. I just think everyone is entitled to their opinion and Rene is a big boy he can handle a little crit, so no need to tell the person to die LOL.
  • really?!!? ever heard of a typo? an/and???? ever heard of damn you
    kindly direct me where I told a person to die....
    exaggerate much? and it's grammar, not grammer
  • Hey Spaz, (and you definitely are one), if you're going to criticize others' grammar, you had BETTER be sure yours is spot-on.
    Your period goes inside the quotation marks: Not "better". Should be "better."
  • It is clear that you are the biggest douchebag on here. You are so worried about the grammar, when he actually wrote some good use of information. Do you do this for a living? Do you sit down and read articles and pick out the smallest things then complain to them? Like people are going to agree or care. Stick to the article! You should make your own blog and we will gladly...not read it.
  • I can't wait! Only 2 months away and counting!
  • 1 month , wtf since when is august 2 month , every thing will happen on september so the excitement should happen during the whole month.
  • I just got an iPhone 4 a few days ago. If this is true, I may just return it & hold out for the new iPhone. I didn't think it would get released as soon as September.
  • Do you know of any contract leniency deals at&t will have for those who got the 4s? Or will I have to wait the full 2 years to get the contract price? Sorry if this I a stupid question but the 4s was the first iPhone for me and now I am bummed that I won't be able to get the 5 for another year. :(
  • Sell your phone on eBay. You'll make the amount back to get it even without upgrade price. That's what I did last year.
  • I have had great luck selling my devices in order to upgrade. Amazon or eBay will usually result in a pretty quick sale. Keep a case on your phone for better resale condition!
  • Also, consider Jailbreaking the device if you can. I've seen Jailbroken phones sell for $30-$50 more than a stock iPhone. If you got an AT&T iPhone, consider unlocking it and add another $30-$50 to it.
  • buys back iDevices and offers a pretty good amount for them. They are currently offering $277 for a 'good' 16GB model ($300 for 32GB and $350 for 64GB).
  • I have not heard any thing yet. My contract with ATT just ran out, and to upgrade to the 4S i would still have to pay $199. Hoping that its a bit less (by a bit I mean a whole poop-ton less). Its a good time to change providers, though for my uses ATT seems to have more flexible plans.
  • Looking forward to the whole thing. Still hoping that the mini dock connector is MagSafe-equipped. And still hoping that the new iPhone screen's edges are more rounded. Tired of the plasticky edging around it. (No doubt there to help prevent chipping.)
  • Actually I doubt this schedule, since for that date Intel is listed as event in Moscone Center. I doubt that Apple would host such an event while Intel is having its party in the same venue, even if there would be enough space.
    So by logic of recent event days and open slots at the Moscone schedule, I would rather guess the Apple event will take place either at Sept. 4th (which might be too early) or Sept. 25th (most likely).
  • Please let this be true. I need a new phone SO bad, lol. And to the poster above^^^ I don't believe they used Moscone last time did they? Wasn't it somewhere on Apple campus they did the last event? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks Rene
  • I don't think they need the Moscone center. Why would they?
  • Reader010, the iPhone 4s event wasn't at Moscone, it was on the Apple Campus. I think this is correct, no one will care about Intel's event that day.
  • Read it.....Apple only unveils some of their products at the Moscone Center.....others (The iPad, iPad 2, Apple TV, various iPods, Movie downloads on iTunes) have been introduced at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
    Also a few have been unveiled at Apple Town Hall..
  • Guess that's the day I'll partially leave Att for Verizon.
  • I was on Verizon, went to AT&T, trust me...Verizon is horrible, data and customer service wise.
  • I actually have both, and much prefer Verizon for customer service and phone service. AT&T has been slightly faster with data, but not much to make a big difference. Verizon has been better for voice for me.
  • I want the LTE service that they have where I live, its really nice on my iPad.
  • AT&T can't even stay in the same room with Verizon. Verizon customer service is top-notch and #1 rated. And their network coverage is unmatched.
  • I've been wrestling with this for a while now... I've had great service and customer service with AT&T up until recently. The local tower is just a crapfest suddenly and they seem disinclined to do much about it; that along with the talk of charging for FT over 3G along with past delays in MMS and HotSpot have antagonized me. On the other side is VZW with the slowness and restrictions that come along with CDMA ( in calling, txting and other arenas... Their LTE looks mighty fine, however :)
  • What are you talking about. I love Verizon. The customer service is way better then AT&T, and I get amazing data and signal all the time. My coworkers that have AT&T are always lording thier signal and dripping calls. I think you an AT&T employe.
  • goodness goodness folks. Everyone knows that data and voice varies by location. My office is ATT gold. My home is Verizon and Sprint gold. Get the service that offers you the best data and voice service!
  • Thanks for the info, Renee. While this is great news, my upgrade isn't until October, which is when the last Iphone came out. Oh well, I'll just have to wait. lol
  • This exact same date was given as the alleged iPhone launch day last year by several blogs. People were up in arms going on about how idiotic it would be to choose the day after the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. I guess this year nobody is that concerned.
  • I would understand if it was ON THE DAY, but the day after ?
    I dont recall any speculations for september last year. In fact a lot of people were hinting at an October announcement and it was true.
    This yeas 9/11 happens to fall on a Tuesday and everyone knows that most movies and videogames are released on a Tuesday and so far I havent seen any companies change their release date due to 11th anniversary for WTC.
  • i would imagine that they will hold this on Apples own Campus, just like they did recently for another announcement. Bring it on !!
  • Is it wrong that I find the comments more entertaining than the actual article? Ha! I wish Apple would jump on board and issue a tach gadget designed specifically for kids.
  • This is a good date for my upgrade, looking forward to it! I wonder if the iPad mini will replace the iPod touch?
  • Of course the iphone5 will be presented @ IFA in Berlin, Germany on August 31st
    IMHO :-)
  • Yes! kinda sucks i literally JUST bought a new iPhone 4S for AT&T i dropped my sprint plan (had horrible service) so now i have a brand new iPhone but knowing me, ill still sell this and spend it all on the iPhone 5
  • All Dutch sites rever to this news and to imore. Coincidentally we have general election that day. Let's hope we'll have two good results.
  • Wow Rene! Your story is huge on the web right now. I saw it when I went to Google news, but everyone is citing the story now. Great job!
  • This would be amazing if this does end up being accurate. I am due for a phone upgrade I am just waiting on the new iPhone to be released to do the upgrade. I have been waiting so impatiently for this news.
  • Rene,
    That is awesome news!
    I had been holding off upgrading and it's nice to now that we may not have that long to wait.
  • Why would anyone want an iPad mini ?
  • Because Apple made one, silly. :D
  • lol
    I stand corrected !
  • That's very controverisal lool
  • Soon, the rampant speculation and speculative renderings will be a thing of the past and we will all see exactly what the iPhone 4G is and is not and what it will and will not be equipped with.
  • That could likely be the name iPhone 4G since (rumored) design looks a lot like the 4/4S variants. The design or lack of design change doesn't bother me, I put it in a case anyways so not as critical as having LTE and a 4" screen. Of course if the dates were what Apple was planning, we can expect they will change them they can't have leaked renderings, dates and specs all be true. Unless of course this is the doubling down on secrecy by leaking the details to prevent the purists from storming the castle over a larger 4" display. Either way I look forward to ordering mine to go along with my iPad 3 LTE.
  • I checked my At&t account, and the line that i upgraded last year to the 4S say "Great news! You qualify for an early iPhone upgrade with a new 2-year commitment." Seems to me like something will be happening in the next couple of months.
  • Unlikely. Apple says "Fall" for iOS 6. Typically OS is released before the phone. Therefore we can infer from that, that iOS 6 will be released after September 22, and the new iPhone thereafter.
  • They just say fall in case something happens such as bugs pop up or something although the betas seem to be less buggy than ios5 betas so only time will tell.
  • Holy cow, they're making a new model! It's going to be better than the previous model in largely predictable ways! It's so exciting! Who could have possibly imagined that they'd come out with something new? This is so overwhelming!
  • What does that leave time for, maybe 3 additonal betas? If that date holds, then Apple must be pretty happy with iOS 6 development.
  • So excited! Now I just need to figure out how to get Sprint to move my upgrade date up from December 1st!
  • Can't wait!! Time to continue to blow everyone out of the water.
  • I don't think so.
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  • Event dates known before being officially announced - practically every component of the iPhone 5 leaked already... Am I the only one concerned with the level of leaks out of Apple lately? So much for "doubling down" on secrecy...
  • "Leaks" are whatever you make of them. Never forget that, even if the rest of the internet-world seems to be unable to grasp the concepts of "facts", "opinions", "rumors", "proof", etc. Last year, around this time, there were not only hundreds of rumors and "leaks", there were also reports of actual "products" - new, radically thinner cases - that were popping up at reputable stores. These were to serve as "proof" that the next iPhone would be a drastic change in physical dimensions from the iPhone 4. That turned out to be the iPhone 4S. Not so much. Basically, I'm going to happily wait and see, but if I were a betting man, I'd say that the actual phone will look very little like the current mashup of "leaks".
  • Why do you guys keep referring to it as the iPhone 5 when Apple will never call their 6th iPhone device the iPhone 5?
    1. Original iPhone
    2. iPhone 3G
    3. iPhone 3GS
    4. iPhone 4
    5. iPhone 4S
    6. the new iPhone just saying...
  • Why is there always one of "you guys" in every post about the next iPhone?
  • Ya it seems logical that apple would call it "The New iPhone", especially if it IS truly going to be redesigned and loaded with new features. I can def see them calling it The New iPhone, they called the iPad the new one and it is LTE capable compared to older versions, and this next iPhone is supposed to be LTE capable as well so that's one similarity. Either way it's gonna be awesome I'm pretty easy to please I love everything about the 4S as it is, so this next one is gonna be amazing.
  • iP4 user here who is likely to get the next iPhone. iOS6 looks OK and the leaked images are meh, but I expect what will get me is the whole package, from camera and battery life to great apps and robust functionality. Although I really do think android phones are winning (dominating) the feature wars, I am looking for Apple to put together the best overall device for my interests. It would be nice to see something that puts the wow back in the iPhone, but sadly I don't expect it this September. We'll see. And unless the rumored cohort of Nexus phones hit the streets sooner than later (i.e., something substantive before the end of Sept), I will buy the new iPhone.
  • Jobs is rolling over in his grave. A new smaller docking connection! Can't wait to see the difference in sales because of that alone. :( Boo on the new leadership at Apple for succumbing to the "buy all new" 'theology' in the tech world. And a little too late to come up with a mini-ipad.
  • Hope they get sued by Samsung for the ipad mini looking like the nexus 7, or something similar.
  • Why do you hope that? I think you're on the wrong site...
  • I called AT&T today to cancel a line that I do not use and is no longer in contract. The rep told me that she would recommend that I leave the line open because my two other iPhones do not have insurance and it would be expensive to purchase the phone. She said that the iPhone5 was going to be released on 9/21/12 and recommended that I wait on cancelling the line. Additionally they are crediting me $20.00 per month to keep the line open for three more months. This has to be true!
  • You are so full of it
  • great for ipgone and ipad :)
  • iphone5 its gone be rocking i phone
    Original iPhone
    2. iPhone 3G
    3. iPhone 3GS
    4. iPhone 4
    5. iPhone 4S
    6. the new iPhone
    may be iphone 6 and 7.8....... more than that,