Apple slates Sept. 7 for iPhone 7 introduction

Two-hour event will be webcast to the masses

apple invite

Apple today said it will host an event Sept. 7 in San Francisco, where it will unveil its newest iPhone smartphones.

As expected, Apple pegged the presentation for the Wednesday following the U.S. Labor Day holiday, which this year falls on Sept. 5.

Although the invitation sent to media representatives and analysts touted only the date -- foregoing other hints, as has been its want -- Apple will almost certainly use the event to trumpet the iPhone 7 and a refresh to its Apple Watch.

Apple will start the presentation at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) and live-stream it from its website. The Cupertino, Calif. company's iPhone launch events typically run two hours.

As it did last year, Apple will stage the event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The venue, named after rock concert promotor Bill Graham -- who made famous city sites like the Fillmore and the Winterland Ballroom -- has some resonance for Apple: The company debuted the Apple II there in 1977.

Last year, Apple revealed the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus on Wednesday, Sept. 9, and opened pre-orders on Saturday, Sept. 12, but did not put the smartphones in retail until Friday, Sept. 25. That was a departure for the firm, which had usually left just a week gap between pre-order and on-sale.

Assuming Apple follows 2015's schedule, it will take pre-orders beginning on Saturday, Sept. 10, and release the new devices into retail on Friday, Sept. 23.

If Apple instead opened retail sales on Friday, Sept. 16, it would be able to book that many more units into its third quarter -- which ends Sept. 30 -- especially important this year because of slumping iPhone sales and some apprehension on Wall Street that the iPhone 7 will not spark enough interest to reverse the trend.

Next week's webcast will require Safari on macOS or iOS, or the firm's Apple TV box. Windows 10 users running the Edge browser may also view the event. Edge, unlike Chrome on the desktop, supports Apple's HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol, which Apple now uses to webcast its events.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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