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If You Want an iPhone 14 Pro Before Christmas, These Are Your Options

There's a shortage on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, but you might have a chance to score one before the holidays.

Nelson Aguilar
Nelson Aguilar is an LA-based tech how-to writer and graduate of UCLA. With more than a decade of experience, he covers Apple and Google and writes on iPhone and Android features, privacy and security settings and more.
Nelson Aguilar
4 min read
iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone Plus with blue screens against a red, yellow and blue background

Not every iPhone 14 model is easy to get right now.

James Martin/CNET

It's not easy to get your hands on a brand-new iPhone 14 Pro model right now.

The reason? A combination of strict COVID-19 restrictions and subsequent protests in China has affected the Zhengzhou assembly factory for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. According to Apple, that facility "is currently operating at a significantly reduced capacity," and as a result, many reports suggest that the production shortage could hit 6 million units.

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That's an incredibly significant number, and we've already begun to see its impact. If you go to the Apple website right now and want to purchase an iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max, the fastest expected delivery date isn't until after Christmas, and if you want to pick it up in-store, well, that's pretty much impossible.

If you're thinking about buying an iPhone 14 Pro as a gift for a loved one, you'll have to wait a while -- maybe even until next year. 

Fortunately, there are several options you have to get it sooner (i.e., before the holidays). Here's what you need to do.

1. Check your local Apple store

You have a great chance at securing an iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max before the holidays by constantly checking inventory online at your local Apple store.

On the Apple website, go to the Buy iPhone 14 Pro page and choose your model, color, storage, payment option and carrier. Once you've selected all these options, you should see the final price of your phone at the bottom of the page, as well as the estimated date of delivery and the option to pick up in person at your nearest Apple store (if available).

James Martin/CNET

You can get the iPhone 14 Pro for as low as $999 and the iPhone 14 Pro Max for $1,099 from Apple, but you'll need to play around with the various colors and storage options to find availability before the holidays.

If the delivery date shows as after Christmas and there's no availability to pick up in person, try these two things:

  • Choose a different model. You can bump up the storage from 256GB to 512GB or switch colors from deep purple to gold to see if a slightly different variation of the iPhone 14 Pro model you wanted is available. Play around with all the available options. 

There are also online trackers, like this one, which automatically search for all available iPhone 14 Pro models at Apple stores in your area, though these websites tend to be riddled with advertisements. 

  • Change Apple store locations. Right above the Add to Bag button, you'll see details of the nearest Apple store. If the iPhone 14 Pro is unavailable at that store, hit Check another store to view availability at the nearest 12 stores. If your choice is still not available at any nearby Apple stores, change the ZIP code and think about a road trip if you want the iPhone 14 that badly.

You may also see an option that says Similar models available. If you're interested in the model that appears, great! Select it to check out where it's available to pick up in-store that same day.

iPhone availability feature on the Apple website

If you see Available Today for the iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max, take advantage.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

2. Next, check retailers and carrier stores

The Apple store isn't the only place to look for the iPhone 14 Pro. You can check online, via phone or in person at the phone carriers or retailers in your area.

Best Buy storefront

You might find iPhone 14 Pro inventory at your local Best Buy or other similar retailers.

Best Buy

For retailers like Walmart or Target, your best chance to score is to check online. For example, if you're near a physical Best Buy store, go to the Best Buy website, find the iPhone 14 Pro model you want and scroll to the bottom of the page to check on delivery and pickup options. If delivery is available before Christmas, you can easily buy the iPhone 14 Pro and have it sent to your home. If pickup is an option, you could possibly get it the same day.

As for phone carrier stores, like T-Mobile, AT&T or Verizon, the easiest way to check if they have iPhone 14 Pro inventory is to call your local store or go in person. You can talk to a sales representative and ask if they have the iPhone 14 model you want, or if not, something similar. You can also ask when they're expecting a new shipment. Inventory usually isn't available online for each individual carrier store, so you'll need to put more work in to find the iPhone you want. But hey, you might get lucky.

3. Lastly, consider an older iPhone model

And if all else fails, you should honestly consider purchasing an older iPhone model. There are a ton of great options to get the iPhone 13 Pro (2021) or iPhone 12 Pro (2020) models -- for a significantly cheaper price too.

While a 256GB iPhone 14 Pro is $1,099, you could get a refurbished 256GB iPhone 13 Pro for $809 on Amazon or a refurbished 256GB iPhone 12 Pro for $759 directly from Apple.

Refurbished iPhone 12 Pro on Apple website

You can buy refurbished older iPhone models directly from Apple.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

You can also get some decent deals on the secondary market. On Swappa, you can get an iPhone 13 Pro Max for as low as $711 or an iPhone 13 Pro for $629. And on Back Market, you can get an unlocked 128GB iPhone 12 Pro starting at $445 or a T-Mobile 128GB iPhone 12 Pro Max for $471. Prices will vary as stock is sold, so it's best you look around for the best deal possible.

Not sure which iPhone to get? Check out our guide for the best iPhone of 2022, as well as our review of the iPhone 14.