Apple’s iPhone 14 launch will unveil two very different phones. You can expect the usual level of polish from Apple’s presentation, but their release is shaping up to be surprisingly bumpy.
Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), broke the news revealing that “iPhone 14 Max panel shipments still way behind through August. Pro volumes >3x higher…”. Historically, I cannot recall such a vast disparity and, given Young’s remarkable track record, you should brace yourself for potential delays.
Young notes that he is comparing iPhone 14 Max shipments to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which is critically important. Sales data shows that the iPhone 13 Pro Max outsells the standard Pro and the iPhone 14 Max are expected to repeat the pattern by outselling the iPhone 14 — and the iPhone 13 is the biggest selling smartphone in the world.
So yes, Apple is currently struggling to produce models of what is expected to be the most popular smartphone on the planet. What will Apple do? While rare, the company has previously split pre-order and release dates.
Perhaps the most notable is the November 2017 release of the iPhone X, after the iPhone 8 range went on sale in September. Given these were very different devices, the gap felt less jarring, so I would expect Apple to retain the same pre-order and release dates for all iPhone 14 models. The end result is likely to be a clamor for devices, quickly followed by very long wait times for iPhone 14 Max buyers.
Young’s information contrasts with earlier claims from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who said iPhone 14 production overall is “under control currently”. But this was back in May, and supply chain issues have been growing worldwide with reports that they will also result in iPhone 14 price increases across the range.
Moreover, with Apple aggressively looking to upsell buyers to heavily redesigned iPhone 14 Pro models, those who cannot wait for the iPhone 14 Max look set to pay even more.
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