The iPhone 15 line is set to be announced on September 12, and it’s likely that we’ll see the iPhone 15 itself, the iPhone 15 Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max on that date. But how soon after that they’ll go on sale – and whether they all will at the same time – is less clear. Most notably, we’ve heard reports that the iPhone 15 Pro Max might be delayed, but not everyone agrees.
The latest leak on this front comes from @Tech_Reve (a leaker with a decent but not overly extensive track record), who claimed in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that the iPhone 15 Pro Max could be delayed by up to around four weeks.
To be clear, while it’s not impossible that the iPhone 15 Pro Max would actually be announced later than the rest of the iPhone 15 line, it’s more likely based on past form that any delay would just be to the date it ships to customers. For example the iPhone 14 Plus was announced alongside its siblings but shipped later. So if this leak is right we’d probably see it announced on September 12 but ship in mid to late October.
The yield issues with Sony, the supplier of image sensors for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, are severe. As a result, the release date of the iPhone 15 Pro Max could be delayed by up to approximately 4 weeks.September 5, 2023
Specifically, Apple usually ships its new iPhones on the Friday of the week after they’re announced. So with a September 12 announcement, that would mean the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15 Pro would likely ship on September 22.
If the iPhone 15 Pro Max ships four weeks later then that would be October 20, though notably this source said the delay might be up to four weeks, suggesting it could also be less.
What the other leaks say
But how likely is this? There’s certainly some support for this claim. Previously for example we heard that the iPhone 15 Pro Max might be delayed by 3-4 weeks. This claim came from a “major equity analyst note viewed and described by a 9to5Mac source." And the reason for the delay is apparently the camera, as Sony reportedly won’t be able to supply the image sensor in time.
The leak from @Tech_Reve above gives the same reasoning, claiming that the image sensor yield issues are “severe.”
Plus, in July, The Information claimed – citing “two people with direct knowledge of the issue” – that both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max were facing manufacturing issues. But not because of the camera, rather because of a new process that would allow Apple to shrink their bezels.
That said, the site suggests Apple will simply stock fewer units initially rather than delaying the launch. So in that case the iPhone 15 Pro Max might land alongside the other models, but just be harder to get hold of.
Reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also recently claimed on Medium that the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s production was the last of the upcoming models to kick off, so its mass production schedule lags behind other models.
Though notably just a few days before that Kuo claimed that Apple would start mass shipments of the iPhone 15 Pro Max by the end of August, which suggests there won’t be much, if any, delay.
So will the iPhone 15 Pro Max be delayed?
There seems to be a broad consensus that the iPhone 15 Pro Max has faced production difficulties (even if the kind and extent of the difficulties is less clear), so it’s certainly possible that the phone could face a delay. But we’d guess it will be minimal if it happens at all.
Of all the sources mentioned above, we’d argue that Ming-Chi Kuo is the most reputable, and his claims are also among the most recent. While Kuo doesn't rule out a delay – even saying that the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s production schedule is behind the other models – he nonetheless suggests that mass shipments of the device should be well underway by now.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is also likely to be Apple’s best selling phone of the year going by current reports. So Apple will probably be keen to get it out of the door as soon as possible – especially since a delay into October would see it slip into the fourth quarter, which could hurt the company’s third quarter financial results.
So our guess is that it will ship either alongside the other models (likely on September 22) or a week later on September 29. But if so, there’s every chance that Apple won’t have built up as many units as it might like, so it could be in short supply, as The Information predicts. In which case, more than most years you’ll want to get your iPhone 15 Pro Max pre-order in as early as possible.
We can’t completely rule out a longer delay into October though, especially as it wouldn’t be the first time Apple has done that. Either way, the result might be the same for a lot of people – a longer wait than normal to actually get the phone in their hands.
More iPhone 15 stories
- iPhone 15: everything we know
- iPhone 15 Plus: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 Pro: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 Ultra: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 pre-orders: here's what to expect
- iPhone 15 deals: here's what to expect
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.