A lot of people buy new iPhones, for themselves or for gifts, around the end-of-year holiday season. This year, the iPhone 14 Pro (regular or Max) is the model of choice; customers really want that always-on display and Dynamic Island, not to mention the improved camera.
But it’s also impossible to find. A few weeks ago, Apple has issued a warning about supply, and just about every model–every color and storage capacity–has shipping estimates into late December. And good luck finding one at Best Buy or a carrier store. So as Christmas nears, what should you do? Let’s talk about your options.
Just get the regular iPhone 14
We’re not going to lie and say you’ll be just as happy with the iPhone 14 as the iPhone 14 Pro. You don’t get an always-on display or ProMotion. You don’t get the Dynamic Island. You won’t get a telephoto camera, or a 48MP sensor wide-angle camera (compared to 12MP on the non-Pro model). There’s a reason that, despite costing a couple of hundred dollars more, it’s the most popular model this year.
But the iPhone 14 is by no means a bad phone. It’s a relatively small upgrade over the iPhone 13, but it’s fast (much faster than any Android phone) and has an excellent camera and fantastic battery life. If you’re upgrading from an iPhone that’s more than a couple of years old, it’ll still be a huge improvement (especially the battery life). And you’ll save hundreds of dollars over the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max! If you (or the person you’re gifting it to) are truly in need of a new iPhone, you’ll probably be really impressed by how much better the iPhone 14 is than your old one.
Visit your local Apple Store early and often
It’s a bit of a long shot, but your local Apple Store gets new shipments of iPhone 14 models every day. There’s no guarantee that there will be any iPhone 14 Pros in there or that you’ll be able to get the specific color or capacity you want, but if you get there near the opening you might get lucky. Based on shipment estimates, Apple’s supply issues have been easing and since there are still a couple of weeks before Christmas, this is probably your best bet for finding don’t.
Order one online and hope
Nobody wants to order a new iPhone and not get it for over a month. And if you’re buying it as a gift, wrapping up an empty box that says “iPhone 14 Pro coming soon” isn’t as festive as you might hope, but the recipient will understand–everyone else is basically in the same boat.
But it’s going to be okay! It’s just an iPhone, it’s not an emergency. Supply shortages are bad but nobody’s going to blame you for them. Just put in your order and wait patiently for your new iPhone 14 Pro to arrive–maybe in the new year. And who knows, maybe you’ll get a Christmas miracle and it’ll arrive in time to wrap and put under the tree.
Wait for the iPhone 15
Do you really need a new top-of-the-line iPhone right now? I mean, truly? Sure, your iPhone 12 Pro doesn’t do all the awesome stuff the iPhone 14 Pro does, but it’s only two years old. It’s fine.
Why not wait a year and get an even better phone? We don’t know for sure what features the iPhone 15 Pro will have, but it’s almost certain to be faster, with a better camera system, is likely to have USB-C, and might even feature a titanium body. You don’t want to buy an iPhone 14 Pro and then turn around and also get an iPhone 15 Pro just a year later, do you?
Instead, maybe consider an iPhone accessory that will work with your current and future iPhone. The 2nd-generation AirPods Pro are great and already on sale for $200. And do you have an Apple Watch yet? (Those are on sale too.)
Don’t buy from scalpers!
With such a hot tech item in short supply, the scalpers are already reselling them at prices hundreds over retail. It’s only going to get worse as we get into December. It may be tempting to just pay to get what you want, but all this does is create demand that keeps the scalpers buying up all the inventory and overcharging for it. And it’s easy to get scammed! Just be strong and say no to the scalpers.