Apple's iPhone 14 Max is Facing Supply Chain Woes

It's a wonder what this fall's phone launch will look like, given our time of scarcity.

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A photo of the iPhone 13s
The iPhone 14 strategy sounds like it’ll be similar to the iPhone 13, pictured here, with a model for every user.
Photo: Caitlin McGarry / Gizmodo

We’ve all been thinking about it: with all these new devices and gadgets on the horizon, will the supply chain be able to keep up with demand? According to some analysts, the forecast may be grim. The next iPhone might not even escape the scarcity of materials, with production for the speculated but unconfirmed iPhone 14 Max model now rumored to be behind schedule.

Apple’s next smartphone, the iPhone 14, will supposedly come in four models, just like the iPhone 13 did. But there will apparently be two large-sized variants instead of just one, namely the iPhone 14 Max and iPhone 14 Pro Max, making securing components harder than in years past. Ross Young, noted display supply analyst, reported that production is behind schedule because of this necessity.

Young’s original tweet is behind a paywall, but I paid the toll so you don’t have to (though you should if you want to support Young’s work!). Young reports that the iPhone 14 Max panel shipments are “still way behind through August,” though it’s not the Pro models affected. Those displays seem fine, with Young reporting that supply volumes are more than three times higher than on the regular Max phones.

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It’s that regular iPhone 14 Max that’s slowing things down, as it uses a different display than its Pro counterpart. The Pro models utilize Apple’s ProMotion, the company’s adaptive refresh rate tech. This means the iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to have a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, while the regular Max will stay at 60Hz.

The iPhone 14 Max isn’t officially delayed. But it’s been interesting following Apple through this manufacturing journey, as it seems to have had to make some changes to meet its deadline. Back in May, we learned Apple was dealing with supply chain shortages when it opted for a more expensive solution to its front-facing camera than on past smartphones.

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Apple’s reasoning behind making two large format models is supposedly to help its numbers overseas in places like China, where large phones reign supreme.

iOS 16 is getting buzz, too

Although iOS 16 is coming to more iPhones than just the 14 series, the current public beta is giving us more of a glimpse into what’s to come when the software goes live.

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We already know iOS 16 has a new lock screen look, the ability to edit and delete messages sent in iMessage, and an overhauled smart home hub in the Apple Home app. We know that Apple’s working on more privacy and security-minded features, like virtual cards, which will make online shopping more secure overall. It was also recently discovered that Apple would make Hidden and Recently Deleted albums in the Photos app more private by locking them via Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode.

There’s plenty more that can trickle out. There are still a few months before we expect Apple to splash on the scene with the iPhone 14. The company hasn’t officially announced an event yet, but it’s around the time we’ve come to expect it. Until then, we implore you to hold off on buying a new iPhone if you want to spend your money on the latest and greatest.