Silverman: Shopping for an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max?  Here are some tips for finding one.

Silverman: Shopping for an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max? Here are some tips for finding one.

A friend recently started buying a new iPhone, and she had a deadline. She wanted to replace her 4-year-old iPhone XR with an iPhone 14 Pro – which would arrive before she hopped on a plane for a holiday in Spain.

Like many long-time iPhone owners, she prefers to buy her handset directly from Apple. But this time, when she picked up an iPhone 14 Pro online or in company stores, the closet was empty, at least until December 22, well after her departure date.

Looking at Apple’s site at the time of this writing, a new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max won’t ship until December 30. By the time you read this, it may take even longer.

While the supply of any hot new gadgets may be limited during the holiday shopping season, the gravity is unusual for iPhones at this time of year. It’s so unusual that Apple issued a rare press release warning that disappointment was likely in your future.

“COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily affected the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max main assembly plant located in Zhengzhou, China,” the company said in a statement. a statement of November 6. “The facility is currently operating at a significantly reduced capacity. As we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prioritizing the health and safety of workers in our supply chain.

The statement went on to say that demand remains high for the Pro models, and that “we now expect lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products”.

Supply constraints could worsen after workers at Foxconn’s sprawling iPhone manufacturing plant in Zhengzhou, China, rioted on Tuesday against lockdown working conditions and delayed bonus payments.

And just last week, Best Buy’s chief executive warned that the 14 Pro range would be hard to find in that company’s big box stores. More on that in a moment.

The problem, for the most part, does not apply to the non-pro versions of the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus. They’re the same sizes as the Pro and Pro Max, but without the advanced features that allow Apple to charge a $200 premium. (The 14 Pro starts at $999, the 14 base at $799. The 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099, the 14 Plus at $899.)

A quick check of Houston-area Apple stores shows that not only are they readily available, but you can get one in just hours rather than days or weeks. Reuters reported last month that the 14 Plus, in particular, was selling fewer units than Apple expected, forcing the company to cut back on orders for that model.

So what can you do if you or a recipient of your largesse really wants an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max? Here are the suggestions I gave my friend to score a 14 Pro.

• Check your mobile operator. Apple might not have its Pro models in stock, but your wireless service might. My friend is a T-Mobile customer and I suggested she look there first. Bingo! She was able to order a 128GB Gold Pro on November 15 which arrived a few days later, and she didn’t have to change her cellular plan or sign a new contract.

Whether you can get an iPhone 14 Pro in time to gift (or get) this Christmas from T-Mobile depends on the color and storage size you choose. For instance, the Deep Purple, 256 gigabytes Pro will ship by December 2. But the more traditional Space Black and Silver models will ship from December 26 through January 9.

Not all carriers offer them. A spot check at AT&T of various colors and configurations shows the Pro line will not ship before Christmas. At Verizon, the Deep Purple 14 Pro in 128GB, 256GB and 1 terabyte configurations is immediately available at the time of this writing and can be picked up at select company stores. But other colors are out of stock and may not arrive in time for Christmas.

(Every year Apple releases a Pro model in a unique color, and Deep Purple is for 2022. It would have been in high demand when the 14 Pro and Pro Max launched, which Apple likely anticipated and manufactured more accordingly This may explain why this color is often available while others are not.)

If you’re considering changing carriers, buying a 14 Pro may be the opportunity to do so. Some of the smaller carriers that sometimes have lower fares have 14 benefits. Mint Mobile – the mobile phone provider partly owned by actor Ryan Reynolds – has the Pro and offers packages with a 50% discount on a one-year service plan.

A few carriers are offering sign-up deals with the iPhone 14 models, though it’s rare to find one with the Pro versions. Don’t expect to find many Black Friday / Cyber ​​Monday deals on them either.

• Big box stores. Best Buy’s CEO protests otherwise, you might be able to find a 14 Pro there. As of this writing, the retailer’s website shows various configurations of Pro Shipping to arrive as soon as Monday or Tuesday, and in some cases – depending on the carrier’s version – it may be available for immediate in-store pickup.

But forget about MicroCenter, Houston’s other big-box gadget, which is out of stock for both shipping and in-store, according to a search on its website.

• Amazon. The online giant is so short of the iPhone 14 Pro that a search there only brings up older cases and models, such as the 13 Pro and Pro Max. Apple has its own branded outpost on Amazon, and clicking on the iPhone tab at this writing reveals a page that starts with the iPhone 13 range – no 14 or more standard.

Again, I emphasize that this is a snapshot of the situation as I type on my keyboard. If you’re in the market, be persistent and keep looking – or be prepared to go back to the more accessible non-professional models.

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