With iOS 7 Beta 1 now out on the iPhone, the next obvious question is “When is iOS 7 Beta 2’ coming out? And what about Beta 3? Beta 4? When will iOS 7 go gold?
Good questions, and obviously, only Apple could tell you for sure. But Apple’s been releasing post-WWDC betas long enough at this point that it’s pretty easy to track how long on average each beta takes, and by doing so, we can not only forecast when iOS 7 will be released with a probable amount of accuracy: we can put a date on the iPhone 5S’s release.
Here’s what we think. We think iOS 7 Beta 2 will be released next Monday, the 24th. iOS 7 will go gold on September 10th, the same day the iPhone 5S will be announced. And the iPhone 5S and iOS 7 will be released on September 20th. Here’s why.
Last year, Will Hains thoughtfully put together a handy HTML5 chart that showed the time, in days, that each previous iOS beta had gestated.
Using this data, we calculated the average time it took for an iOS x.0 beta release to move on to the next beta. Here’s what we found:
- Beta 1 – lasts 14.75 days
- Beta 2 – lasts 15.4 days
- Beta 3 – lasts 15 days
- Beta 4 – lasts 18.6 days
- Beta 5 – lasts 17.8 days
- Beta 6 – lasts 11 days
So if Apple keeps to this schedule with iOS 7, here are the iOS 7 release dates we’re looking at:
- Beta 2 – Monday, June 24th
- Beta 3 – Wednesday, July 10th
- Beta 4 – Thursday, July 25th
- Beta 5 – Monday, August 12th
- Beta 6 – Friday, August 30th
- Gold Master – Tuesday, September 10th
- iOS 7 Final – Friday, September 20th
A word of explanation is required for the Gold Master and iOS 7 Final release, since we’re making an assumption here.
According to our model, the seventh beta of iOS 7 would be released on Tuesday, September 10th. The reason we’re calling this the “Gold Master” is because we are assuming that Apple will choose to release this as the final iOS 7 developer ahead of the full release of iOS 7 on September 20th.
Why are we saying that September 20th will be iOS 7’s official release? We know that Apple traditionally announces the next iPhone on a Tuesday ten days before it goes on sale, and releases the latest Gold Master of iOS shortly there after. We also know that Apple is likely to unveil the iPhone 5S in mid-to-late September, and that the iOS 7 beta will not continue past the release of the next iPhone. So we think a September 20th release date make a lot of sense.
Obviously, these are just predictions based upon historical data, and could be wrong. There’s all sorts of things Apple might do differently in 2013. But the best way to predict what Apple will do in the future has been to look to the past, and while the dates above for the individual iOS 7 betas might be off here or there, we think they still add up to a September 10th announcement for the iPhone 5S, and a September 20th release date.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.