No iPhone 14 Max delay is currently predicted, but Apple has plenty to worry about

No iPhone 14 Max delay is currently predicted, but Apple has plenty to worry about
It's definitely a little odd to talk about the potential delays of a handset family that's still several months away from an official announcement, but let's be honest here, we all know Apple is targeting a September release for the highly anticipated and oft-leaked iPhone 14 quartet.

That means that while actual mass manufacturing has certainly not started yet, product development is likely nearly finalized, with various tests left to be completed now until the sequels to last year's iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max can be deemed ready for primetime.

Any hitch in the development process can at this point result in a belated commercial debut, but while Ming-Chi Kuo is today confirming a recent report of just such a hitch, the expectation is that Apple will be able to fix it without impacting the company's original "shipping plan."

Everything is under control... for now

For those unaware of the problem's root cause, this purportedly lies in China (where else?), relating to recent local lockdowns that understandably wreaked (renewed) havoc upon Apple's supply chain. But as COVID-19 restrictions again began to ease, the Cupertino-based tech giant moved swiftly in partnership with key parts suppliers to get everything back on the initial schedule.

That hasn't happened yet, according to multiple inside sources, including the aforementioned and almost always 100 percent reliable Kuo. The legendary industry analyst and Apple connoisseur believes the iPhone 14 Max is still "running behind", but if suppliers will continue to "work overtime" (which is likely to be compensated accordingly), the original plan could stand.

While said plan is not actually detailed or spelled out for us in Kuo's latest tweets, something tells us the iPhone 14, 14 Max, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max are currently slated for a simultaneous September 2022 announcement and release.

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The iPhone 14 Max's delay was previously estimated at "about three weeks", which sounds like a lot of overtime, although moderate demand could help Apple get back on schedule with relative ease in a "blessing disguised as a curse" type of situation.

iPhone 14's challenges might come "from the demand side"

When it comes to things smartphone manufacturers never want to hear during a product's development process, that has to be up there with "the battery doesn't fit" and "another prototype has exploded."

But while Apple is still expected to make a loooooot of money off the iPhone 14 lineup, all the recent rumors about rehashed designs, rehashed processors, and modest overall upgrades are not exactly bound to drive hordes of buyers to stores come September.

One credible source anticipates total 2022 iPhone sales will fall short of previous projections by around 20 million units, with the disappointing third-gen SE and derivative 14 and 14 Max likely to play a key role in that worrying drop.

Of course, "drop" may not be the best word to describe this picture, as Apple should be able to keep its global handset shipment figures more or less steady compared to 2021.

By the way, in case you're wondering, the iPhone 14 Max is essentially set to replace the terribly unpopular iPhone 13 mini (despite what the name might suggest), most likely pairing the 6.7-inch screen of the 13 Pro Max with the... A15 Bionic chip of the 13 Pro Max while missing out on this year's Pro-grade features and capabilities, 48MP camera and always-on display included.

That could all explain why this was the only iPhone 14-series model reportedly hit by supply chain issues in the first place, as Apple is probably expecting the "regular" and Pro variants to prove more popular, prioritizing their development and production accordingly.

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