And based on previous experience, my guess is that this will be the case after a (maybe2) RC versions.
And if that is the case then my personal guesstimate is that it will not be this year.
Yes of course
Area 51 has a beta you can play with of course at your own risk. Until it gets released, just use the latest version of phpBB3. You don't even always need the "latest and greatest" immediately.
But - which new year? Almost certainly not this one (in my opinion)
And I bet there will be another one next year