iPhone 7 lineup mock up
Mock-ups of what the iPhone 7 family may look like, including the SE and a rumoured new model called the Pro Martin Hajek

The iPhone 7 will go on sale on 16 September, according to a prominent and well-connected smartphone leaker. This suggests the new Apple handset will likely be announced at a media event in California on 6 September.

If these dates are accurate, then the press can expect to see invitations from Apple arrive in their inboxes around 30 August. These dates come almost exactly a year after the iPhone 6S was announced on 9 September 2015, and two years after the iPhone 6 was revealed on the same date in 2014.

The iPhone 7 release date comes from Evan Blass, a high-profile smartphone leaker who is well-connected within the industry and has a strong track record for receiving information and even images of products before they are announced.

Blass tweeted: "iPhone 2016 release: week of September 12th" then in a follow-up message said: "Just to clarify, this refers to the retail release, not the launch event. To be even more specific, it should happen on Friday, Sept. 16th."

Apple traditionally announces new products on Tuesdays, and with the iPhone it opens pre-orders on the following Friday, a week before the retail launch. If the 16 September date is accurate, then we can expect an event on the 6th and for pre-orders to open through the Apple website on the 9th.

However, a small change to Apple's routine could occur due to Labour Day, a US bank holiday on 5 September. This might force the company to move its event to the 7th, avoiding the need for journalists and their guests to travel to California on their day off.

The iPhone 7 is widely tipped to look very similar to the iPhone 6 and 6S which came before it, but with a more powerful processor and an upgraded rear camera. The next major design change is expected to come with the iPhone 7S in 2017, to mark a decade since the first iPhone went on sale.