Apple reportedly considering a monthly subscription program for iPhone and other hardware
Apple is working on a hardware subscription service that would let you use its products in exchange for a monthly fee, reports Bloomberg.
It would be different than the iPhone Upgrade program that lets you pay for the iPhone in 24 monthly installments. Under that program, the device is yours once you have paid for it in full.
The new rumored Apple subscription service will not work like that. It will be similar to paying a monthly subscription fee for paid apps. So, while this would let you use products like the iPhone during the subscription period, the monthly fees wouldn't be the same as splitting the cost of an iPhone over a 12 months period, for instance, and thus, the phone will technically never be yours. It would be more like a leasing service.
At the risk of reading too much into this, it could be that the monthly fees will be a lot lower when compared to the installments charged by carriers and Apple at the moment for ownership programs. The report adds that users would be able to swap out phones when a new one comes out.
This would generate recurring sales for the company and will help further reduce the influence of carriers since Apple will apparently operate this program itself, via the App Store or iCloud.
At the same time, it would also make Apple products more accessible to consumers who cannot afford to pay for the devices upfront.
Apple could bundle it with the Apple One services subscription program and AppleCare extended warranty and technical support plans and promote it as a one-stop subscription service.
Apple's hardware subscription program has been subject to delays, and we can expect the company to formally announce it by the end of this year or in 2023.