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I just ordered the iPhone 13 Pro Max — but there’s a brutal delay

iPhone 13 Pro Max review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I postponed ordering an iPhone 13 Pro Max when Apple first started taking orders last month, and I'm now paying the price in shipping delays. The reports of long delivery times appear true, at least in my case: I'll be waiting four to five weeks for my new Sierra Blue smartphone.

Before the iPhone 13 series was announced at September's Apple Event, I knew I would upgrade to the iPhone 13 Pro Max from the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Thanks to Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program, I'm eligible for the latest phone every year as long as I pay monthly installments and keep the phone in good condition while on loan.

I decided the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program is worth it last year ago, when I got the iPhone 12 Pro Max and used my Apple Card to get 3% back on every payment.

Butif you remember, the iPhone 12 Pro Max didn't come out last year until November due to production delays. So that's when I started the Upgrade Program, assuming I'd get priority for an iPhone 13 come my final payment on last year's phone. 

But then a notification from the Apple Store app let me know I could cough up my last payment early and get started with the iPhone 13 sooner. I first saw the alert just as the the iPhone 13 hit stores, though I had just ordered the iPad mini 6 (for free, I might add) so I decided to be patient.

Little did I realize how patient I'd have to be. This week I finally got around to configuring my iPhone 13 Pro Max, paid off that last month on my iPhone 12 Pro Max and was informed my replacement is scheduled to arrive the second week of November. 

Am I little disappointed? Sure. As I see more videos in Cinematic Mode and images shot in Macro Mode on social media, I'm itching to try the iPhone 13's camera tools myself. Plus I've been filming a few TikToks lately (follow Tom's Guide on TikTok to see what I mean), so I want the best camera phone possible.

On the bright side, I've seen Apple orders ship significantly ahead of estimates in the past. While supply chain issues and chip shortages are the entire tech industry's affliction, there's a chance the company is being intentionally cautious with delivery windows. If I do end up getting my iPhone 13 Pro Max early, I'll be sure to let you all know.

You're heard it in the news, over dull dinner conversations or from the man in a nice suit yelling into his earbuds on the street — many devices won't come the expected two days Amazon has instilled with Prime shopping. If you're waiting for Black Friday deals to buy new tech, plenty of retailers are offering discounts now to give shoppers time to get their gifts in order in time for the holidays.

Besides a little photography FOMO, I'm not in any real rush to get my iPhone 13 Pro Max. There's something to be said for delayed gratification, I guess. Still, if you've been similarly slow to order your new smartphone — or any holiday gadget — know that possible delays await and plan accordingly.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.