If you’re considering buying a new Apple iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max any time before the holidays, you might have to settle for a color or storage size you don’t prefer.
Reuters (opens in new tab) is reporting that manufacturing is down at Apple’s main assembly plants in China, and we’re seeing the best iPhone models with significant restrictions and even a month’s shipping delays.
Foxconn, Apple’s main manufacturer in China, has apparently suffered delays caused by COVID-19 and the country’s strict policies to contain the spread of the virus. During Apple’s most recent earnings call, according to Business Insider (opens in new tab)CEO Tim Cook blamed the delay in iPhone sales for supply chain issues, saying that “we remain limited today, so we’re working hard to meet demand.”
We checked out all the Apple iPhone 14 models available today, including the iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and Pro Max, to see what we could buy today on Apple’s online store. We found that the two cheapest iPhone models, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, are readily available in all storage capacities and in all colors. We can ship today or pick up at a nearby store.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pro models are much harder to find, at least if we’re picky about color or storage, or both. Every iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max device has a delivery time between November 23 and December 1. Apple seems confident the iPhones will be delivered well before the holiday, but not in time for Thanksgiving.
There are also iPhone 14 Pro models in stock at our local stores, but only sporadically. Our US office is located in the New York City area and we are researching stores in the New York suburbs north of the city.
If we want an iPhone 14 Pro in Deep Purple, a nearby store has a 128GB model available and a different Apple store has the 256GB model. The larger 512 and 1 TB models are not available in stores near us. The Deep Purple is the most widely available iPhone 14 Pro model among the dozens of stores we surveyed.
There are two stores that have a 1TB iPhone 14 Pro model but only in gold color. No other color in the larger capacity is now available in stores. In fact, the only gold iPhone 14 Pro that we can find in stores is this 1 TB model.
If you’re looking for an iPhone 14 Pro Max, the phone will be easier to find if you opt for a larger storage capacity. A purple 14 Pro Max device can be found in stores today in all capacities except 128GB. You can get it up to 1TB now.
In fact, we found the 1TB iPhone 14 Pro Max available in all colors except silver. For the silver device, we found only a 256GB model available. With a capacity of 256GB, all colors of the iPhone 14 Pro Max are available for in-store pickup today at stores near us.
What is the bottom line? All iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max colors and storage capacities are available for pickup somewhere, but you might struggle to match your favorite permutation. The iPhone 14 Pro is easiest to find in purple. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is easier to find if you’re willing to spend $1,599 today to buy the 1TB model.
Analysis: What should we do now?!
This supply problem is surprising, especially for Apple. Apple CEO Tim Cook was the company’s former supply chain expert and steered Apple’s ship for incredibly tight control over inventory. Only a global pandemic and catastrophe could prevent Apple from meeting demand expectations with Cook at the helm.
If you have to make do, we highly recommend getting the storage capacity you want in regards to color. You can always get a nice case for your phone or put 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 replace it, 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 might end up with black space eventually. Color is more important in the Apple Store, not in your pocket.
While you’re considering your options, you might want to take a look at our list of all the best smartphones.