Since about an hour after the iPhone 6 Plus was first available for pre-order online, it has been in short supply. On Apple’s website, the big-screened iPhone has consistently had a ship date of “3-4 weeks” since September.
That 3-4 week shipping window could give anxious Christmas shoppers heartburn, but it appears that Apple is catching up to demand and the biggest iPhone is becoming more readily available. As spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple’s website now lists the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus with a ship date of “7-10 business days.” Several iPhone 6 Plus configurations are available for same-day in-store pickup from a few Apple Stores as well.
In fact, if you want an iPhone 6 Plus, check Apple’s in-store pickup first. That seems to be the route with (by far) the most iPhone 6 Plus supply with multiple configurations available from certain Apple Stores. The unlocked version (labeled T-Mobile) of the iPhone 6 Plus is still hard to find at Apple stores, but carrier-locked versions appear to be readily available.
Unfortunately, only the least expensive models seem to have refreshed stock online. If you were hoping to pick up a 64 GB iPhone 6 Plus (which is the one I’d get) or the 128 GB model, you’re still going to have to wait to get it shipped, either 2-3 weeks or 3-4 weeks, respectively. Color and carrier don’t seem to matter.
It’s the same story at the carriers — for instance, AT&T will ship you a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus on the same day you order it and it’s available from several physical stores. But the models with bigger storage capacity still have wait times and very limited in-store availability, at least at the stores in New York I checked.
Although so far it seems as if people tend to pick the smaller iPhone 6 over the Plus, that might be not be because buyers are avoiding it. It could be because the Plus has been inconsistently available. Someone walking into a store looking for the Plus might leave with the smaller iPhone simply because he or she doesn’t want to wait.
Earlier this month Nikkei reported that Apple’s suppliers have been increasing iPhone production, and other Asian reports point to Apple adjusting the production mix between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
“We’re not nearly balanced [between iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus supply], we’re not close, we’re not on the same planet,” CEO Tim Cook said during Apple’s most recent earnings call. “That said, I’m really confident that supply is going to be great and that’s the reason you see incredibly strong guidance that we’re giving [for next quarter.]”
There will be no iPhone-related trampling this year. Americans will be able to buy an iPhone 6 Plus with relative ease to gift this holiday season — but it might not be the first model your recipient wants.