If you’re hoping to buy an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max in time to make it a Christmas present, you probably already know the odds are against you. The standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are readily available in most Apple stores, but Apple’s flagship phones are much, much harder to find.
Not only are you dealing with the normal holiday rush like any other year, but Apple also just doesn’t have enough phones to go around. Covid-related lockdowns at the main assembly facility for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have resulted in operations running at “significantly reduced capacity”. And worker protests at those Foxconn facilities have reduced supply even further.
You may not mind buying a new iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max in the near future. But if you’re determined to get it done, follow the tips below for your best chances of success. It will take some patience and effort, but I’m pretty sure it’s doable if you put in the time.
Apple’s delivery estimates for all configurations of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max now extend through January. It is possible that some orders may arrive earlier than expected, but given that the company may have to deal with this a potential shortfall of 15 to 20 million units, according to some analysts’ estimates, I wouldn’t count on luck in this scenario. If you’re not worried about receiving your phone by a certain date, at least order and don’t worry about it.
Conventional wisdom says Apple reserves a lot of iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max inventory for its own retail locations. That’s generally true, but you’ll still encounter an uphill climb to get your hands on one.
Apple has shown a pattern of releasing inventory for in-store pickup both before stores open (usually sometime between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. local time) and also after they are closed for today. Before the recent supply drought, I normally saw iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max phones showing up around 9pm and often later. And yes, stock also routinely shows up throughout the day when stores receive shipments. Restocks have become much scarcer since Apple warned of “longer wait times” for the Pro lineup, but they still appear here and there. Fortunately, you don’t have to do all this checking and refreshing yourself manually. Who has time for that?