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iPhone 15 Pro isn’t even out, but you should decide right now if you want one

Published Jul 21st, 2023 12:18PM EDT
iPhone 14 Display
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

The iPhone 15 series should hit stores about two months from now, with Apple expected to unveil the new phones in early September. However, a report from an analyst earlier this week said that Apple might delay the iPhone 15 release date to October. The analyst cited information from Apple’s supply chain without revealing specifics. A separate report that followed provides a supposed reason for the delay: Apple is struggling to manufacture iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max displays.

Apple has plenty of time to fix its supply issues and ensure there’s going to be a robust inventory at launch. And some iPhone 15 models might still launch on time, in late September. But you might have to decide to upgrade to the iPhone 15 models or the Pro variants very soon. That way, when preorders open, you’ll be prepared to place your iPhone 15 order.

A release date delay for the iPhone 15 wouldn’t be a first. It happened with the iPhone X in 2017 and the iPhone XR a year later. Then, the entire iPhone 12 series saw delays in 2020, but that was the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, the iPhone 14 Plus got a delayed release last year.

I’ll also point out that Apple ran into massive supply issues with the iPhone 14 Pro models last winter, as lockdowns in China impacted the supply chain right before Christmas.

Therefore, I think Apple will unveil the iPhone 15 series in early September this year. And it’ll have at least some of the four handsets in stores by the end of the month. But the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max might see “severe shortages” at launch.

iPhone 15 dummy models
iPhone 15 dummy models Image source: MacRumors

The iPhone 14 Pros were the most popular models in the iPhone 14 series. The same thing might happen with their successors. However, unlike last year, the iPhone 15 models will have the same design as the Pro variants. Still, the Pro models will receive better hardware, including the screens. And that’s where Apple is facing production problems right now.

Per The Information, Apple is said to be using a new manufacturing process for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. And it looks like making the screens is more complicated than expected.

The report highlights the LG-made displays as problematic. The issues have apparently surfaced during Foxconn’s “risk ramp” production stage. That is when the assembler manufactures “hundreds of thousands of units of the device to test how reliably they can build the product without defects.”

“One person with direct knowledge said the LG-made displays have failed reliability tests after it goes through a new process known as low injection pressure overmolding or LIPO,” The Information notes (via 9to5Mac). “The process involves Apple fusing the display into its metal shell prior to assembly. Apple is repeatedly tweaking the design of LG’s display so that it can pass the tests.”

Apple apparently can manufacture the iPhone 15 Pro screens with Samsung, so the issue seems to impact only LG displays. Samsung has been Apple’s longtime provider of OLED panels. But Apple also wants to reduce its reliance on its biggest rival in the industry. Hence the adoption of LG displays for iPhone in recent years.

iPhone 15 mockup shows titanium frame
iPhone 15 mockup shows titanium frame Image source: yeux1122

The problem seems to impact the iPhone 15 Pro Max more than the smaller Pro. The Pro Max is supposed to be the only iPhone 15 model to feature a periscope camera, a first for the iPhone. The feature has nothing to do with the display, but it’s an upgrade some iPhone buyers might desire.

Rather than postponing the release date to October, Apple reportedly wants to have the iPhone 15 in stores in September. But stock might be significantly constrained if these issues persist.

If you’re still on the fence about upgrading the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, you’d better decide soon. The sooner you do, the more prepared you’ll be to place your preorder. And acting fast once preorders start might help you score an iPhone 15 Pro version with a late September release date rather than waiting several weeks to receive the handset.

Even if these reports are inaccurate, or Apple can fix the manufacturing issues, a fast buying decision will increase the chances of scoring the exact iPhone 15 version you want. It’s not just choosing between the Pro and non-Pro models. When buying a new iPhone, you must also consider storage capacity, color, and carrier.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.