Buying an iPhone 14 Pro for the holidays? You may have to settle
If you are thinking of buying a new Apple iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max any time before the holiday season, you may have to settle for a color or a storage size you didn’t prefer.
Reuters is reporting that manufacturing is down at Apple’s key assembly factories in China, and we are seeing the best iPhone models with significant constraints and even month-long shipping delays.
Apparently, Foxconn, Apple’s primary manufacturer in China, has seen delays caused by COVID-19 and the country’s strict policies to curb the spread of the virus. During Apple’s most recent earnings call, according to Business Insider, CEO Tim Cook blamed lagging iPhone sales on supply chain problems, saying “we continue to be constrained today, so we’re working very hard to fulfill the demand.”
We checked every model of Apple iPhone 14 available today, including the iPhone 14 Plus, the iPhone 14 Pro, and the Pro Max, to see what we could buy today on Apple’s web store. We found that the two less expensive iPhone models, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, are readily available at every storage capacity, and in every color. We can have one shipped today or pick one up in a store nearby.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Pro models are much harder to find, at least if we are picky about either color or storage, or both. Every iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max device has a shipping time with delivery between November 23 and December 1. Apple seems confident that iPhones will be delivered well before the holiday season, but not in time for Thanksgiving.
There are also iPhone 14 Pro models in stock in our local stores, but only sporadically. Our US office is based in the New York City area, and we are polling stores in the New York suburbs north of the city.
If we want an iPhone 14 Pro in Deep Purple, one store nearby has a 128GB model available, and a different Apple store has the 256GB model. The larger 512 and 1TB models are not available in stores near us. The Deep Purple is the most widely available iPhone 14 Pro model among the dozen stores we surveyed.
There are two stores that have a 1TB model iPhone 14 Pro but only in the gold color. No other color in the highest capacity is available now in stores. In fact, the only gold iPhone 14 Pro that we can find in stores is that 1TB model.
If you are looking for an iPhone 14 Pro Max, you’ll have an easier time finding the phone if you opt for a higher storage capacity. A purple 14 Pro Max device can be found in stores today in every capacity except 128GB. You can get it up to 1TB right now.
In fact, we found the 1TB iPhone 14 Pro Max available in every color except silver. For the silver device, we only found a 256GB model available. At the 256GB capacity, every iPhone 14 Pro Max color is available for store pickup today in the stores near us.
What’s the bottom line? Every color of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, and every storage capacity, is available for pickup somewhere, but you may have a hard time matching your favorite permutation. The iPhone 14 Pro is easiest to find in purple. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is easiest to find if you’re willing to spend $1,599 today to buy the 1TB model.
Analysis: What are we supposed to do now?!
This supply problem is surprising, especially for Apple. Apple CEO Tim Cook was the former supply chain expert at the company and has steered the Apple ship to incredibly tight control over inventory. Only a global pandemic and catastrophe could keep Apple from meeting demand expectations with Cook in charge.
If you have to settle, we highly recommend getting the storage capacity you want over the color. You can always get a nice case for your phone or slap a fancy sticker on it. You won’t be able to add more space for precious videos and TV shows later.
Also, you should note that if you break your iPhone and need to get it replaced, the fastest replacement option may not be the color you purchased. If you want to replace a broken purple iPhone 14 Pro in a hurry, you may end up with space black eventually, anyway. Color is most important in the Apple Store, not in your pocket.
While you’re considering your options, you might want to look at our list of all the best smartphones.