The iPhone 15 has been on the market for nearly a week, but finding an iPhone 15 Pro Max may prove to be a challenge. Apple quickly sold out of most of its initial launch stock within just an hour of opening preorders. While the availability situation may vary depending on your location, you could find yourself waiting for weeks to get your hands on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
It’s crucial to resist the temptation of paying exorbitant prices to scalpers, who are partly responsible for the rapid depletion of iPhone 15 Pro Max stock, especially considering the already hefty price tag. Scalpers have been preordering thousands of units directly from Apple and carriers, with the aid of bots that can place orders in a matter of seconds. Once these scalpers receive their orders, they often charge up to an additional $300 above the retail price for the handset.
The demand for the iPhone 15 Pro Max remains incredibly high worldwide, even with Apple’s adjusted pricing this year. With no 128GB version available, the base price in the US starts at $1,199, matching the price of the 256GB iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Beyond scalpers, there’s another contributing factor to the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s rapid sellout. This particular model features an exclusive camera, the tetraprism zoom lens, which has presented challenges in large-scale manufacturing. Although Apple claims to have addressed the supply bottleneck, it will still take some time to catch up with the high demand.
Scalpers have resorted to using bots to mass-purchase this highly sought-after iPhone, a tactic that has been prevalent in recent years. Similar techniques were used to purchase items like the PS5 and Taylor Swift concert tickets.
Kasada, an organization specializing in online security, has highlighted instances where scalpers have employed automated bots, such as “all-in-one” (AIO) bots, notorious for snatching up electronics and GPUs, to target the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. The estimated profit per phone resold stands at around $300.
Notably, there’s relatively little risk for these buyers. While bot owners may spend thousands on iPhones, they have a 14-day return window in case they are unable to resell them.
Kasada also provides examples of scalpers claiming to have purchased thousands of iPhone 15 devices in a single day, potentially translating into substantial profits. However, these claims lack objective verification. It appears that scalpers are not only buying bots but also developing their own to secure a competitive edge during preorder events.
These bots also seem to work efficiently with carrier services, completing purchases in as little as 10 seconds.
The takeaway from this situation is clear: Avoid purchasing the iPhone 15 Pro Max from scalpers at inflated prices. The more consumers resist overpaying these premiums, the greater the likelihood that scalpers will return their stock. Apple is also expected to ramp up production to meet the strong demand. Checking Apple’s official website might reveal a waiting period of 6-7 weeks for iPhone 15 Pro Max deliveries, a far better option than feeding scalpers’ price hikes. Additionally, shipping times are likely to improve as the holiday season approaches, a stark contrast to the challenges Apple faced in late 2022 due to unforeseen COVID-related production disruptions.