There are some great reasons to pre-order the iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini right away, but there are also some reasons why you might want to put your credit card away and wait.
In October, Apple confirmed the iPhone 12 series. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro went on sale shortly after the event.
The two other models, the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini, are set to go on sale on November 6th with the official release coming a week later on November 13th.
iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini pre-orders start at 5AM Pacific tomorrow morning in the United States which means you might need to wake up early in order to get the model you want.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini look like excellent additions to the company’s stable of iPhones. The new models come with support for 5G, improved performance, upgraded cameras and more.
These upgrades, and potential shipping delays, are among the reasons why you might want to consider putting in a pre-order right when sales start.
If Apple Stores and retailers are open in your area, you should be able to find the iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini in stock on release day.
That being said, in-store stock can be unpredictable and there’s a chance you come away empty-handed or with a model that was your second or third choice.
- Pre-Order If You Want Your iPhone ASAP
- Pre-Order If You Want a Popular Model
- Pre-Order to Avoid Stores
- Wait for Reviews
- Wait If You Aren’t Prepared
- Wait for Deals
- Wait if You’re Worried About Problems
The base version of the iPhone 12 mini starts at $699 before a trade-in while the base version of the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1099. These prices increase as you add additional internal storage.
Buying an iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini right away might be tempting, but spending $700 to $1100, or more, on a product you haven’t had a chance to try in person makes this a tough decision.
In this guide, we’ll help you decide if the iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini is worth pre-ordering. For some of you, it will be. That said, many others are better off waiting.
Pre-Order If You Want Your Device ASAP
If you want your iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini in your hands as soon as possible, you’ll probably want to put in a pre-order.
We might not see a complete sell out, but there’s a very good chance we see some, and perhaps all, shipping dates get pushed into late November or December.
Shipping dates for some iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models got pushed back immediately after pre-orders started and we could see similar issues impact the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini.
If you want a guaranteed delivery on or around November 13th, you’ll want to put in a pre-order through Apple, your carrier, or your favorite retailer as soon as pre-orders start.
If you don’t, and shipping times slip for the model you want, you’ll have to go into a store or wait several weeks for your new phone to arrive.
For more on where and when to buy the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini, check out our guide.
Pre-Order If You Want a Popular Model
The iPhone 12 mini comes in five different colors (blue, green, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED) and three storage sizes (64GB, 128GB, and 256GB) while the iPhone 12 Pro Max comes in four colors (graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue) and three storage sizes (128GB, 256GB, and 512GB).
We expect the iPhone 12 Pro Max models to sell out quickly. Apple’s Max/Plus/Pro models are extremely popular and we don’t expect the lofty price points to scare buyers away.
We’ve also seen a lot of demand for the Pacific Blue iPhone 12 Pro so we could see blue iPhone 12 Pro Max models sell out faster than the other shades.
Pre-Order to Avoid Stores
If you pass on a pre-order, but still want an iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini in your hands on or around November 13th, you’ll need to head into a physical store when the phones land on shelves.
We probably won’t see lines wrap around entire city blocks, Apple is discouraging lines, but we could see a lot of foot traffic at some locations if the devices sell out ahead of time.
If you want to avoid crowds of people due to the pandemic and/or you don’t want to stand outside out in the cold/heat , you’ll want to pre-order/buy your device online.
There’s also no way of knowing what kind of stock Apple and retail partners will have available on November 13th. While some stores could have a a lot, others might have uneven stock or very little stock. In other words, there’s a chance you’ll walk away from the store with your backup plan or nothing at all.
If you don’t want to take a chance, buy your iPhone online.
Wait for Reviews
The iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini looks great on paper, but there’s no guarantee you’ll want or need all of the changes Apple’s made this year.
We don’t expect iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini reviews to go live before pre-orders start. That said, we do expect reviews to trickle out a few days afterwards.
Buying an iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini might sound great, but many of you will be just fine going with a cheaper model like the iPhone 11, iPhone SE, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus.
You’ll also want to investigate Apple’s two other iPhone 12 models, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.
If money is tight right now or you’re conflicted about which iPhone to buy, we recommend waiting for iPhone 12 Pro Max/iPhone 12 mini reviews, long-term feedback from critics and early adopters, and the ability to go hands-on.
Wait If You Aren’t Prepared
If you aren’t prepared to buy the iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini you’ll want to hold off. Here’s what we mean by that.
Before you invest in a new iPhone you’ll want to spend some time prepping for your purchase. Individual needs will vary, but here are a few things to consider.
Make sure you research carriers and data plans. Some of you might want to use this purchase as an excuse to leave for another carrier and/or switch up your plan.
You’ll also want to research competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9, OnePlus 8, OnePlus 7, and Google’s Pixel 3, Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 5.
This might be easy for some of you, but for others it’s going to take quite a bit of time to complete. In some cases, it could take a week or more.
If you find yourself feeling uneasy and unprepared when iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini pre-orders start, do yourself a favor and put the credit card away.
Wait for Deals
The first iPhone 12 deals require you to trade in your current device. And to get the best deal, your phone needs to be in excellent condition.
It usually takes a few weeks for retailers to offer straight price cuts on new iPhone models. We probably won’t see the first true iPhone 12 price cuts until Black Friday in late November or later.
The absolute best iPhone 12 deals will likely surface next year once the holidays are over and the hype around the phones has died down.
If you don’t have a phone to trade-in and/or you don’t want to pay full price for an iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini, you’ll want to hold off on a pre-order and wait for their prices to improve.
Wait if You’re Worried About Problems
If you’re concerned about hardware or software problems, you might want to wait a few weeks before buying an iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 mini.
The devices will run iOS 14 out of the box. Apple’s fixed several bugs, but problems are still plaguing the new operating system.
Apple will likely roll out new iOS 14 software in the coming days so it might be worth waiting for the next batch of iPhone 12-related bug fixes to arrive before picking the device up.
New iPhones sometimes debut with hardware issues as well. For instance iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus users encountered bloated batteries and crackling earpieces while iPhone 11 buyers ran into issues with scratches.
The iPhone 12 series utilizes a lot of new technology (including 5G connectivity) so we could certainly see some growing pains right out of the gates.
If you’re concerned, you might want to hang back and see what kind of problems early adopters are seeing in the weeks after the phones are released.
Install iOS 14.8.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.8.1 right away.
The iOS 14.8.1 update brings 12 new security patches to the iPhone. You can read about all of them over on Apple's site.
If you want to better protect your iPhone and its data, you'll want to install the iOS 14.8.1 update in the near future.
If you missed iOS 14.8, you'll get its security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed iOS 14.7.1, you'll get its patch with your upgrade. If you want to learn more about iOS 14.7.1's security update, check out its support page.
If you missed iOS 14.7, you'll get its 31 security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about those on Apple's website.
If you skipped iOS 14.6, you'll get the update's 38 security patches with your iOS 14.8.1 update. If you're curious about the particulars, you can read about them right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.5.1, you get the update's two security patches on board. You can read about them over on Apple's website. Both are related to WebKit.
If you missed iOS 14.5 you'll get its patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those changes over on Apple's website.
iOS 14.5 also brought Apple's new App Tracking Transparency which lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.
If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you get its security patch with iOS 14.8.1. You can learn more about that patch over on Apple's website as well.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.8.1. You can read about that patch right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.4, you get the update's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4's security patches right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.3 you'll get its nine security updates with your upgrade. You can read more about them on its security site.
iOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you skipped iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.8.1 update includes 24 additional security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.8.1 includes iOS 14.0's security updates.
iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.