Longer Waits This Year for Buyers of iPhone 15 Base and Pro Max

  • Pre-order delivery wait times for iPhone 15 base and Pro Max models significantly higher than previous generation
  • High demand coupled with initial supply constraints likely factors driving Pro Max’s delivery times to record high during pre-order week
  • iPhone 15 base model also seeing high wait times; China at 4X that of iPhone 14.

Boston, Seoul, Beijing, New Delhi, London – September 25, 2023

Delivery times on pre-orders for the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro Max came in significantly higher than corresponding iPhone 14 models across key markets, according to Counterpoint Research’s Apple 360 Service. The US was a prime example, with buyers of the base and top-end model having to wait 4 and 9 days longer, respectively, than those last year; Plus and Pro buyers will receive their devices up to two weeks faster.


A graph showing the difference between waiting times of all the models of the iPhone 14 series vs. the 15 series.
Source: Counterpoint Research Apple 360 Service.
*iPhone 15: Sep 15 – 21, 2023 and iPhone 14: Sep 9 – 15, 2022; excludes weekends.
Note iPhone 14 Plus available from Oct 7, 2022 vs Sep 16, 2022 for other iPhone 14 models.

“I don’t think it’s a big surprise the Pro Max is showing longer wait times than its predecessor,” says Senior Analyst, Manufacturing, Ivan Lam. “It’s normal to experience hiccups when you’ve got significant upgrades on complex mechanisms like the camera module.  But looking at wait times this weekend as the product starts selling in stores, it looks like availability is moving in the right direction and normalizing.”

Commenting on the iPhone 15, Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director for North America, notes, “The introduction of premium features like Dynamic Island previously exclusive to the Pro lineup has really increased its appeal to the general consumer base. It’s basically an iPhone 14 Pro at base level price and paired with the new aesthetic updates has created more incentives for users to upgrade this year.”

In the run up to Friday’s general release, the base model saw stronger than expected wait times in China, where domestic competitors are jostling to grab share in the premium segment which has been relatively unaffected by the overall market malaise. Most notable has been the rise and popularity of flip-style foldables as well as Huawei’s much anticipated launch of its Mate 60 Pro, which some are seeing as a direct competitor to the iPhone.

“What’s a bit surprising are the base model iPhone 15 wait times in China, which were 4X more than last year on launch day. We were expecting them to come in a lot lower – maybe on par with last year – based on all the discounting we saw on the 14 series during H1,” reflects Archie Zhang, Research Analyst, China. “But it could just be a sign Apple’s still ramping up supply as we move into the busiest quarter.”

“And as far as ultra-premium is concerned, the Pro Max is still the most coveted iPhone in China with long delivery wait times reflecting this,” adds Zhang. “But they’re similar to last year at the moment, and with scalper premiums way down, it could be a combination of less appetite for impulse buying amongst consumers and a similar demand-supply profile as last year.”


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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