We knew the day would come. Earlier, Apple made the unusual concession that delivery dates for the iPhone 14 Pro family would continue to suffer. As of this writing, shipping times for the devices show the struggle continues. Any iPhone 14 Pro models ordered from Apple today likely won’t arrive in time for Christmas in the U.S.
iPhone 14 Pro Shipping Times Average 6 Weeks, Meaning Deliveries Before Christmas Day Unlikely
Thanks in large part to an extended production cut in “iPhone City,” Foxconn’s Zhengzhou assembly plant, delivery estimates for all iPhone 14 Pro models are delayed. In fact, the handsets are now showing delivery estimates beginning Dec. 27. Unless you’ve already placed your order, don’t count on putting that shiny new iPhone 14 Pro under the tree.
The troubles began in mid-October, when a COVID-19 outbreak forced Foxconn to put its largest iPhone assembly plant on lockdown. The Chinese supplier moved its production into a closed-loop protocol. It closed factory cafeterias and making employees take their meals in their dormitories.
Foxconn prohibited workers from leaving the facility, courtesy of China’s zero-tolerance COVID-19 policies. Reportedly, food delivery delays, insufficient medical care and general fear of the COVID-19 outbreak caused many employees to escape the plant. Some even climbed the fence to get away.
Foxconn’s Production Numbers Expected to Fall
While operations at the Zhengzhou plant are returning to normal, the damage is already done. While Foxconn was expected to ship 85 million handsets during the holiday quarter, that estimate has fallen. Now, most expect Foxconn will only ship 79 million units even as demand for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max remains strong.
Apple and Foxconn have begun work transitioning iPhone production to India, but that’s not expected to help matters in the short term. Investment firm Morgan Stanley predicts Foxconn’s output during the first few months of 2023 will be higher than usual. That will make up for unfilled demand, but won’t help with that Christmas shopping.
There could, however, be other options for giving your loved one a new iPhone. Shipping estimates don’t typically poll carriers, for example. Hence, if it’s someone really close to you, you may be able to add them to your cellular plan and get the device in time for Christmas.
Other Options for Putting iPhone 14 Pro Under the Tree
Amazon is also an option, but not for the iPhone 14 Pro. The online retailer does have refurbished models of the iPhone 13 Pro available for as low as $803.90 in excellent condition. Ordering one of those today could see a delivery date as early as Nov. 18, but quantities are limited.
If you absolutely need to get an iPhone 14 Pro and not an earlier model, a few other choices remain. Electronics retailer Best Buy has options to get an iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max delivered well in time for Christmas. Midwest-based MicroCenter also showed one iPhone 14 Pro Max available in my local store.
The moral of the story is you still may have options to get an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max in time for Christmas. However, it won’t be directly from Apple; you’ll need to shop around and find a retailer or carrier with the devices in stock.