August 24 update below. This post was first published on August 23, 2023.
It’s not long until Apple announces its latest iPhones, but a new report claims that one of the four, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, is going to be late.
First of all, that’s the only thing that looks like being different. I am sure the Apple special event where these products will see the light of day will be on Tuesday, September 12 at 10AM Pacific, in a pre-recorded keynote. It’ll be shown to press and guests in the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, Cupertino, I believe, and broadcast online.
And the other date, when Apple announces the special event, will be next week, perhaps on Wednesday, August 30 or Thursday, August 31.
No, what’s changing comes after that. Apple’s keynote will introduce four new iPhones (plus two new Apple Watches). The iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro will go on sale on Friday, September 22, with pre-orders happening the week before, probably from Friday, September 15.
But the iPhone 15 Pro Max looks like being delayed. According to 9to5Mac, who heard it from “a major equity analyst note”, one component exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be in short supply, meaning that it won’t arrive until early to mid-October. All four phones will be revealed at the same time and it’s possible Apple will have some stocks so it won’t announce a different onsale date for the Pro Max.
It’s just when customers come to place orders for the Max that they may quickly find shipping dates slip into October.
Why The Delay?
The reason for the delay is a Sony component, an image sensor that’s not going to be on the iPhone 15 Pro. It’s thought the iPhone 15 Pro Max will have a periscope camera for the telephoto lens. As you know, a periscope camera doesn’t pop up and down out of the camera body, though how fun would that be? Rather, it uses mirrors to reflect light into the body of the phone, thus elongating the focal length. This means that the telephoto lens has a zoom equivalent greater than the 3x found on the current Pro iPhones.
It’s not the first time the Pro and Pro Max phones have been distinct, and differences in the cameras between iPhones are nothing new. They define the Max as the most capable, as well as the biggest and priciest iPhone.
So, When Will It Arrive?
Any delay is undesirable. The analyst note suggests that there will be a three- to four-week delay for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which would see it go on sale on either Friday, October 6 or Friday, October 13. In which case, I think it’s probable that Apple will announce a separate date for the Max going on sale at the keynote.
August 24 update. Such is the influence that Apple has on our lives at this time of the year that the conjecture is now beginning to focus not on the day the phones go on sale (after all, the most important timing) nor even the date of the special event, which is also crucial because that tells us exactly what the new iPhones and Apple Watches will be.
No, the new emphasis is on when Apple will send out invites to the special event. That’s right, the focus is on the day when Apple will announce the announcement of something that will go on sale later.
The insightful Zac Hall at 9to5Mac has just assessed when this special event will be announced. In one way, this seems to confirm that there’s a consensus about the dates we think we know: Tuesday, September 12 for the special event, Friday, September 22 for the phones going on sale. Hall suggests that the announcement could take place on one of four dates, August 29, 30, 31 and September 5.
As you’ve seen above, I’ve previously said that two of the August dates were possibilities, but I’d agree that Tuesday, August 29 could be worth considering.
I’ll say now that I think the September date is too far off. Apple likes to get its news out before the big electronics show in Berlin, IFA, gets going, so August is better than September.
I’m now leaning towards Tuesday, August 29 or Wednesday, August 30 as the most likely days (so mark your calendars, please) though, as ever, this is based on gut reactions to a company I’ve been covering for decades. Apple is saying nothing. Check back – I’ll update this post if we hear more.