You can't buy the world's two best smartphones in the US right now

by Noah Kulwin
Sep 16 2016, 11:14am

People waiting outside an Apple Store in Manhattan (Martin Bravenboer / Flickr).

The two biggest and best smartphones in the US are the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. Reviewers really, really like these high-quality, big-screen beauties.

One problem: If you live in the US, you can’t buy either of them right now.

Samsung’s Note 7, as you might have heard, has this problem where the battery sometimes explodes. The company and the US government issued a global recall — the largest ever for a smartphone — and Samsung has said it will be at least a few weeks before they put its flagship Note 7 back on sale.

As for the iPhone 7 Plus and the jet black iPhone 7, Apple says that they have already sold out ahead of today’s in-store release, even leaving some standing in line for days high and dry. Though analysts were initially skeptical that the iPhone 7 series would be a big hit, cell carriers said that this year’s iPhone pre-orders were record-breaking; this is why Apple’s stock just had its best four-day run in over two years.

But because of issues with Apple’s supply chain, it’ll be awhile before many customers can get their hands on the phone.

And breaking with tradition, Apple isn’t going to reveal first weekend sales numbers this year, which the company says is because it knows it will sell out the phones. It’s also a neat trick to mask how severely constrained Apple’s supply chain really is, and how many phones it was able to produce before launch.

The good news is that the holiday season is a few months away, and if you are planning to drop $700 or $800 on a smartphone, you can safely wait until then. Otherwise, maybe consider buying something like a normal Galaxy 7 or (non-jet black) iPhone 7.