When Will Apple Release iTunes 11? Probably Next Wednesday. Here’s Why


"Coming in November." Probably November 14, and almost definitely not past November 16.

Last month, Apple failed to make its own self-imposed deadline to release iTunes 11 by the end of October.

iTunes 11 is a radical overhaul of Apple’s media management, shopping and syncing software for the Mac and PC that seemingly addresses the numerous complaints of bloat and convolutedness that have been leveled at the app over the years. It also has a much more attractive and modern design.

Consequently, numerous Apple fans — including ourselves — were disappointed when Cupertino quietly announced they were pushing back iTunes 11’s release by a month, into November. But when in November?

We have no inside information on when, exactly, iTunes 11 will be released, but we think there’s an excellent chance that it will be released by no later than the end of next week, and most likely next Wednesday. Here’s why.

The best way to tell what Apple is going to do in the future is usually to look at what they’ve done in the past. Luckily, we’ve got a lot of data on when Apple has released new iTunes versions in the past. Over the last 11 years, in fact, Apple has released eighty-four different versions of iTunes.

Statistically there’s a 73% chance Apple will release iTunes 11 mid-week.

Here’s what you need to know about those eighty-four versions of iTunes. Of them, two were released on Sunday, fourteen on Monday, twenty on Tuesday, twenty five on Wednesday, sixteen on Thursday, and seven on Friday. That means that Wednesday is the first most likely day for a new iTunes version to be released, followed by Tuesday, then Thursday.

We can reasonably say, then, that there’s a roughly 73% chance that Apple will release iTunes 11 during a mid-week. But which week this month?

We have a lot of good data here, too. Of all eighty-four versions of iTunes that have been released to date, only five of them have been released in November. Of these five versions, none have ever been released later than the 20th of the month.

It’s important to recognize why this is: Apple’s an American company, and Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of every November. Apple is actually a more generous company than most when it comes to giving workers time off for Thanksgiving, giving Apple corporate staff the entire Thanksgiving week off to spend with their families. That means that any major products that Apple has in the pipeline need to be released before Thanksgiving week begins, or else it will most likely be delayed until December, because of how long it takes teams to build back momentum when they come back from the holidays.

This year, Thanksgiving falls on the 22nd of the month, which is the earliest in the month Thanksgiving can actually be. Apple has given corporate employees the week off starting on Monday the 19th. Since we have never seen a version of iTunes be released after the 20th of November, and since the last workday most Apple employees will be working is the previous Friday, Apple is historically extremely unlikely to release iTunes 11 past November 16, 2012, if it’s going to come in November at all.

Apple could always surprise us, come back from Thanksgiving, and push iTunes 11 out the door. Historically, though, the data says they won’t. Instead, iTunes 11 will either ship next week, probably on Wednesday, or be delayed again to December. That would look bad for Apple. Nothing’s certain, but our best guess says iTunes 11 next week.

Apple is historically extremely unlikely to release iTunes 11 past November 16, 2012.

  • Timothy Williamson

    Hey, I’m excited for a cleaner, leaner, meaner, faster iTunes.

  • machestnut

    Maybe it will come out when its time for Itunes match to renew. Hopefully the update will work better with a new and improved Itunes match

  • theobserving

    What, you have Nate Silver working for Cult of Mac now?

  • mondogenerator1

    How many versions of iTunes have been postponed?

  • Fabio Papa

    Are you kidding? Tell me you’re kidding! I think Mark Twain was referring to this post when he said that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

  • markrlangston

    Pretty nice chomping of the stats to come up with next week. What Apple needs to do next time is just stamp a “Fall” release date on it so people can stop stressing over it.

    And yes, I’m one of those stressing about it. I do “Check for Updates” at least a couple times a day to see if it’s ready ’cause I’m really Jonesin’ for that new interface and iOS folders-like UI.

  • chrisscm

    This is some pretty fancy sleuthing! :)

  • darkhuntress

    I hope they fix the problem with purchased apps not showing up in the itunes cloud on devices with ios6. Some of us have that problem. Course maybe thats an iOS update instead.

  • phyre

    Hasn’t everybody switched to MediaMonkey yet?

  • iPear

    I just hope that iTunes 11 runs on 10.6, too.

  • Felichiomo

    you were wrong

  • cadetandrew

    Oddly specific.

    This is based on times in the U.S.

  • ItsDidrick

    So today it’s November 14th and no iTunes update as far as I can tell. It’s still early in the day here in Norway so I will keep checking thoughout the day to see if anything pops up but nothing so far :(

  • steveo119

    Hey, I’m still holding out the new mac will come out on the same day, would be fitting. :)

  • cadetandrew

    As it’s getting rather late, it doesn’t look like the iTunes 11 release will happen today. Still a good shot at it happening tomorrow. Apple is doing great at “delaying” things, though.

  • Exile714

    Even if they gave their employees the entire week of Thanksgiving off, that still leaves the week of the 26th to finish iTunes 11. You just wanted it to be today, didn’t you?

  • lambaline

    Well it’s next week, where do we get our iTunes from?

  • lambaline

    So where do I get iTunes 11? On Apple it still says “Download iTunes 10.7 for Mac and PC” “iTunes 11 Coming in November”

  • yonan32

    So I guess this one’s a no, eh.

  • cadetandrew

    iTunes 11 isn’t available yet.

  • DiegoRodrigues1

    Well, friday is here and so far, nothing. December then?

  • AndGuz

    So first you said Wednesday; then Thursday. Now, maybe December?…

    Hmmm… [UNFOLLOW]

  • Jonnoy

    “The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right. We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface, and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November.”

    The END of November, have some faith, I doubt it will be delayed again.

  • cadetandrew

    If iTunes 11 comes out in December it will be highly embarrassing to Apple since it’s already a month late. Right now it appears like this is just a “it will be ready when it’s ready” moment.

  • OliverLovesIt

    Almost definitely not past November 16? Guess what, it is November 16 and there is no sign of iTunes 11 whatsoever.

  • David Shanahan

    Well it’s Nov 17 here in Australia and still no sign of iTunes 11. Okay, so there’s still a couple of workday hours left on the 16th in Cupertino, but if they’re going to do it today time is getting short…

  • ericschultheiss

    You’re an idiot, because “Next Wednesday” was the 14th and today is the 17th and still no iTunes 11. You suck at making predictions.

  • DiegoRodrigues1

    Guess you couldn’t have been more wrong… Better luck at your predictions next time….

  • Jomo25

    Nate Silver, you are not.