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

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

A friend recently started shopping for a new iPhone, and she was on a deadline. She wanted to trade in her 4-year-old iPhone XR for an iPhone 14 Pro — which would arrive before she even hopped on a plane for a holiday in Spain.

Like many longtime iPhone owners, she prefers to buy her phone directly from Apple. But this time, when I went looking for the iPhone 14 Pro online or in the company’s stores, the cabinet was bare, at least until December 22, long after the date it left.

Checking Apple’s website as of this writing, the new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max won’t be delivered until December 30th. By the time you read this, it could be a lot longer.

While supplies of any hot new device can be tight during the holiday shopping season, the risk is unusual for iPhones this time of year. It is unusual for Apple to release a rare news release warning of the potential for disappointment in your future.

“COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily affected the main iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly facility located in Zhengzhou, China,” the company said in a November 6 statement. “The facility is currently operating at 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 shipments of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max than we previously anticipated and customers will see longer waiting times to receive their new products.”

Supply restrictions could get worse after workers at Foxconn’s sprawling iPhone manufacturing facility in Zhengzhou, China, on Tuesday rioted over closed working conditions and delayed bonus payments.

And just last week, Best Buy’s CEO warned that the 14 Pro line would be hard to find in that company’s flagship stores. More on this in a moment.

The problem, for the most part, does not apply to non-pro versions of 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. (14 Pro starts at $999, Base 14 at $799. 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099, 14 Plus at $899.)

A quick scan of Apple Stores in the Houston area shows that not only are they readily available, but you can get your hands on them in just a few hours instead of days or weeks. Reuters reported last month that the 14 Plus, in particular, is selling fewer units than Apple expected, prompting the company to reduce the number of orders for this model.

So what can you do if you or your generous recipient really wants an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max? Here are the suggestions I gave to my friend until she got the 14 Pro.

• Check with your cell phone company. Apple may not have its Pro models in stock, but chances are your wireless service will be available. My friend is a T-Mobile customer, and I suggested you look there first. bingo! She was able to order a 128GB gold version on November 15th 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 the iPhone 14 Pro in time for Christmas (or get it) from T-Mobile depends on the color and storage size you choose. The Deep Purple, 256GB Pro, for example, ships by December 2nd. But the more traditional Space Black and Silver models will ship from December 26 to January 9.

Not all carriers are available. A spot check at AT&T in various colors and configurations shows that the Pro line won’t ship until after Christmas. On Verizon, the Deep Purple 14 Pro is available in 128GB, 256GB, and 1TB configurations immediately as of this writing, and can be picked up at select company stores. But other colors are behind and may not arrive in time for Christmas.

(Each year, Apple releases a Pro model in a unique color, Deep Purple being for 2022. It was reportedly in high demand when the 14 Pro and Pro Max were launched, something Apple likely anticipated, and manufactured accordingly. That might explain Why is this color often available when others are not.)

If you’ve been thinking of changing carriers, buying the 14 Pro might be an opportunity to do so. Some of the smaller carriers that have lower rates sometimes have 14 pluses. Mint Mobile—the cellular service provider that’s partly owned by actor Ryan Reynolds—has Pro and offers packages with a 50 percent discount on a one-year service plan.

A few carriers offer recording deals with 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 it either.

• Supermarkets. The Best Buy CEO’s objections are to the contrary, you might be able to find the 14 Pro there. As of this writing, the retailer’s website is showing different configurations of the Pro shipping arriving early Monday or Tuesday, and in some cases — depending on carrier version — it may be available for immediate in-store pickup.

But don’t forget the MicroCenter, Houston’s other great gadget, which is out of stock both for shipping and in-store, based on a search on its website.

• Amazon. The online giant is out of iPhone 14 Pros so that a search there only returns older cases and models, such as the 13 Pro and Pro Max. Apple has its own site on Amazon, and clicking on the iPhone tab as of this writing reveals a page starting with the iPhone 13 line — no standard 14s or Pluses.

Again, I stress that this is a quick snapshot of the situation as I hit the keyboard. If you’re in the market, be persistent and keep looking – or be willing to go back to the attainable non-pro models.

dsilverman@outlook.com
twitter.com/dsilverman



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