Delivery times for the just-unveiled iPhone 15 Pro quickly slipped until November for some configurations, suggesting that demand is strong for the high-end versions of Apple Inc.’s new lineup.
Four iPhone 15 models became available for preorder on Friday in more than 40 countries, following their introduction at an event Tuesday. The high-end Pro Max model, which starts at $1,199, quickly saw its promised delivery slip from Sept. 22 to as late as mid-November in the US.
Shipment times for the blue and black iPhone Pro Max models slipped until as late as Oct. 16, while the natural and white models were delayed until Nov. 13. Delays affected all storage capacities of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, a version that features a revamped camera and larger screen. The orders got underway at 5 a.m. in California.
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Apple analysts, investors and fans have long used shipment delays to gauge the popularity of a new model. It’s an imprecise science: Supply chain snags, inventory and logistical issues can affect delivery times as much as demand. But Friday’s delays suggest that Apple is seeing healthy uptake for the phones, including in China, where there have been concerns about a backlash.
The iPhone accounts for about 50% of Apple’s sales, and the company is counting on the new model to help reverse a sales slide that’s persisted for three quarters.
China saw shipment times slip until November for all iPhone 15 Pro Max models, while standard iPhone 15 Pro versions have three- to four-week waits. China’s Meituan platform, which taps into a network of Apple resellers, processed $27.5 million worth of iPhone 15 orders alone in the opening 30 minutes of preorders.
Canada is seeing six- to seven-week wait times for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, while Australia, Japan, the UK, India, Canada, France and Germany had delays of as much as eight weeks for the iPhone 15 Pro Max in natural titanium. These lags could continue to grow as preorders are placed.
Buyers of the standard iPhone 15 Pro with a smaller screen also saw delays, affecting all colors in some storage capacities. The wait time for those phones, which start at $999, is as late as Oct. 23 in the US as of Friday afternoon. So far, the only base-level iPhone 15 models seeing delays were the iPhone 15 Plus in pink in all storage capacities, and the pink and green standard iPhone 15s.
The delayed timelines are affecting home deliveries, which means shoppers may have more luck heading to a store. Some of Apple’s about 270 retail locations in the US still had availability sooner for in-store pick up. The iPhone 15 Pro Max in natural titanium appears to be the hottest seller so far, with the most limited remaining availability at stores and online.
The Pro Max starting price is $100 higher than last year, and the clamoring for preorders suggests Apple’s pricing strategy isn’t losing it customers.
When preorders began, many users reported that they were unable to place transactions for several minutes and that Apple’s mobile store app crashed at launch or during the order process. The issues mostly affected customers attempting to trade in an old iPhone or use Apple’s annual upgrade program. That may also suggest that initial demand is strong.
The iPhone 15 Pro line is a significant update from last year’s models, adding a titanium casing, improved zoom for the camera and a faster processor built on 3-nanometer architecture.