Apple Release Patterns
Updated 6/4/18 (after WWDC)
Apple's customers and the press expect new hardware product updates for each product category from Apple every year, but Apple's corporate secrecy makes it difficult to predict when new products will be released. Complicated, scattered data, put together here for easy reference. Starting with data from 2007, these designs use an annual calendar data visualization to clearly show both product announcements and release dates for Apple's major products. The patterns were easier to understand when the product categories were broken apart into separate infographics.
Bookmark and return to this page in the future as it will be updated as new products are announced and released. Please share any suggestions or feedback for future revisions in the comments on the blog post.
Predicting the Next iPhone Release Based on History
Here's a simple data visualization graphic that highlights one specific insight learned from the larger visuals below. The iPhone releases have followed a distinctive timing pattern for the last six years, which we can use to predict the 2018 iPhone release.
iOS Release Patterns
In the last few years, Apple has shifted the release dates for all iOS devices to the Sep-Oct timeframe. You can also see a consistent pattern of the announcement one week, and the products released the following Friday.
MacBook Release Patterns
MacBook Pros have been regularly getting two releases/updates each year, but MacBook Airs only get one.
Desktop Mac Release Patterns
No discernible patterns for desktop Macs. I know the new Mac Pro will start shipping in Dec 2013, but no official date has been announced.
Apple Combined Release Patterns
Here is one showing all of the Apple products together. Although the individual patterns are hard to identify, in aggregate you can see that Apple avoids any product launches during Nov-Dec. You can also observe a fairly even distribution of product releases through each year.
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