iOS 16 and watchOS 9 coming in September, macOS and iPadOS in October, says Gurman

Ios 16 Iphone 13 Pro Hero
(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

A new report on Apple's upcoming software launch plans seems to suggest the company will release iOS 16 and watchOS 9 in just a few weeks, with macOS and iPadOS to follow in October. 

The news comes from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and his latest Power On newsletter. Gurman builds on a report last week in which he revealed that Apple's iPadOS 16 software appears to have been delayed by one month from its planned release in September to October. 

Last week Gurman said that iPadOS 16 had been delayed to give Apple more time to perfect its new multi-tasking feature Stage Manager, he has now doubled down on this prediction and given us a more comprehensive view of Apple's software launch plans. 

Release dates for iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, watchOS 9

"This year, and perhaps in future years, Apple plans to shake up that approach," Gurman wrote this week. "The iPhone update, iOS 16, and new Apple Watch software, watchOS 9, will launch concurrently in September. Then, about a month later, iPadOS 16 will launch alongside macOS Ventura." 

This ties in with guesswork and rumors about Apple's event plans for the fall. Apple is expected to unveil its next best iPhone, the iPhone 14, at a launch event in September alongside Apple Watch Series 8. Gurman predicts that Apple will host the second event in October where it may unveil new iPads and Macs. There are reports Apple could debut a new iPad Pro and 10th generation iPad, as well as possible M2 upgrades to the MacBook Pro and Mac mini. 

That means that Apple's iOS 16 and watchOS 9 upgrades could be just a few weeks away, while you'll have to wait at least another month to get your hands on macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16 if you haven't already tried the betas. While it might be better for Apple and users to delay iPadOS 16 to get it right, as Gurman notes this will cause some hiccups. 

He predicts that some new cross-platform features like iMessage retraction and editing, as well as iCloud Share Photo Library and other collaboration tools, may not work well across devices while iOS 16 has rolled out but iPadOS 16 remains on hold. Choosing between a buggy "on time" release or a delayed one that could cause fragmentation on devices isn't easy, but it seems like Apple has gone with the former to try and reduce headaches for iPad users.  

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9