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Apple will reportedly sell the iPhone as a subscription service

Apple will reportedly sell the iPhone as a subscription service

Apple is working on selling iPhones and iPads as part of a hardware subscription service, according to a new report from Bloomberg, whose author Mark Gurman writes that the service could arrive next year.

The move will fit into Apple's ongoing push toward subscription services as a whole. For the past several years, Apple has been pushing recurring subscriptions such as Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple News Plus, Apple Fitness Plus, and Apple Arcade as major new revenue streams for the company. Many of those services are already bundled together in the company's Apple One bundle.

We've already seen a similar change on the hardware front: Apple added a monthly subscription model to its AppleCare extended warranty in 2019. And Apple has offered its iPhone Upgrade Program -- which allows customers to pay the combined cost of an AppleCare Plus one iPhone. Option to trade in their device after 24 months and 12 months of payment - from 2015 onwards. Both of those programs are already similar to hardware subscriptions in many ways.

The Bloomberg report doesn't explain how a subscription program would differ significantly from those existing services, but Apple is building on something like the installment model of the iPhone Upgrade Program, allowing customers to upgrade to other Apple services (or even those as a whole). ) to be allowed to be added. It's easy to imagine. Apple One plan) for a single, monthly cost. Right now, you can pay Apple monthly for its services, and you can pay it monthly for an iPhone — but they still have separate fees and management plans.

It's hard to imagine that Apple would only lend out devices on a monthly basis—would you really only be able to pay to "subscribe" to an iPhone for a month, like you would binge Ted Lasso's season for Apple TV Plus? Will you hang out? can laugh. , likewise, a world where Apple customers invest months of capital in just one device, so that it is equally impossible to return it at the end of the process.

It's possible that Apple just wants to cut out the middleman and expand its installment-based payment offerings to other products. The iPhone Upgrade Program effectively gives customers an interest-free loan with Citizen One, which they repay over the course of a 24-month plan. Apple allows Apple Card customers to pay for Apple products in monthly installments without interest, but that too is limited to only a small subset of Apple customers. An Apple-based subscription service could eliminate those requirements, and allow Apple to expand it to other hardware products (such as the iPad or its Mac computer).

But while the details are still thin, one thing is clear: Apple's subscription ambitions are still just getting started.

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