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This is why iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max are almost impossible to find in stock

iPhone 12 Pro review
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Trying to order an iPhone 12 Pro or 12 Pro Max and realized it’s out of stock in nearby stores and will take a month to deliver? You’re not alone: the amount of time it takes to get the pricey new iPhones shipped to your home has ballooned to an average of 27 days in several regions, though you can still get the standard iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini much sooner.

These are the longest lead times from purchase to shipping that investment bank JP Morgan has seen since the phones launched months ago, according to an availability tracker note that analyst Samik Chatterjee saw and relayed to AppleInsider. This indicates that customers have been flocking to buy the Pro models, and Chatterjee noted that "given that it has now been a few weeks since the specific SKUs have been available is a favorable indicator of customer demand."

To be specific, the note stated a 27-day average lead time in some regions for the iPhone 12 Pro, 23 days for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and just three days for either the iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini. 

That lead time is even longer in the US, maxing out at 33 days on average for the iPhone 12 Pro. You can pick up models in-store within a day, apparently, though only if it’s in stock: when checking for availability at publishing time, TechRadar found only one Apple Store had the iPhone 12 Pro in all of Los Angeles.

While lead times for the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are slightly better outside the US, don’t expect to get either sooner than 22 days in the UK, Germany, or China, according to JP Morgan’s availability tracker note. 

In summary, the phones are out of stock everywhere, which is the simple reason you may be struggling to find one nearby. Unfortunately, the note didn’t suggest why the iPhone 12 Pro models are in such short supply and seeing extensive shipping delays, so we’re left to speculate what has left global supply so low - if there's anything more at work than just rabid consumer demand.

The iPhone 12 Pro supply gap: a victim of COVID?

Chatterjee noted that the low supply in the weeks and months since both Pro models have been out could mean that consumers have simply been buying up supply at a rate Apple may not have expected. But given how many other products have seen their shipping dates slide due to the Covid-19 outbreak’s disruption of manufacturing (not least of which, the PS5 and Xbox Series X), it’s possible the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max supply have been similarly impacted by the coronavirus.

Of course, we heard rampant rumors that some of the four iPhone 12 models would be delayed, including shipping delays for the the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro launched in late October, while the 12 mini and 12 Pro launched in mid-November, but there wasn’t any overt evidence that the coronavirus outbreak directly caused Apple to push back its typical September release window for its new iPhones.

It’s also possible that Apple ran into other supply issues specific to the higher-end Pro models - and it wouldn’t be the first time. Both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X were revealed in September 2017, but the pricier phone didn’t ship until November.

Regardless of the reason, Apple has been forthright about the supply issues facing iPhone 12 orders, with CEO Tim Cook acknowledging them in an earnings call at the end of October: "We're working really, really hard to remedy those [supply problems] as quickly as we can," Cook said, as per 9to5Mac. "But at this point, I can't estimate when we'll be out of that.

Via PhoneArena

David J Lumb is Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, covering phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made.