You may soon subscribe to the next Apple gadget instead of paying for it outright as the company is apparently working on a hardware subscription service for the iPhone and other products.
- With inflation rising and prices steadily increasing, it’s becoming harder and harder to justify the so-called “Apple tax”, referring to a premium that shoppers willingly pay on Apple products to get the kind of tight integration where everything “just works” that the company is well-known for.
- To keep you in the ecosystem, as well as lure in new would-be customers, Apple is reportedly working on a subscription service for the iPhone and other hardware.
- The move could not only boost Apple’s services revenue but also make it a lot easier for price-sensitive customers to swallow the Apple tax. Many people might prefer paying a few bucks every month versus having to come up with a few thousand bucks to purchase one of Apple’s shiny, high-priced toys.
How about subscribing to the next iPhone?
When the iPhone sales began decelerating a few years back, Apple has decided to milk its existing customer base by doubling down on various subscriptions (that’s why Apple is now funding Hollywood entertainment). It saw great success with the strategy, and now the subscription may be how would-be shoppers could justify spending nearly $4,000 on that awesome Mac Studio + Studio Display combo.
Assuming Apple rolls out hardware subscriptions, customers will be able to subscribe to Apple hardware for the first time ever. According to sources, Apple may even let you swap out your devices for new models when fresh hardware comes out. The company has reportedly been working on this initiative for months now. If all goes well, the hardware subscription program may launch at the end of 2022.
Owning an iPhone could be like subscribing to apps
The idea is to make the process of buying an iPhone or iPad on par with paying for iCloud storage or an Apple Music subscription each month. Apple is planning to let customers subscribe to hardware with the same Apple ID and App Store account they use to buy apps and subscribe to services today.
That sounds like Apple’s installment program, no?
The program would differ from an installment program in that the monthly charge wouldn’t be the price of the device split across 12 or 24 months. Rather, it would be a yet-to-be-determined monthly fee that depends on which device the user chooses.
The author adds that an unnamed service, which is still in development, could tie into AppleCare+ and digital service bundles, known as Apple One.
The company has had preliminary discussions internally about attaching the hardware subscription program to its Apple One bundles and AppleCare technical support plans.
The subscriptions would likely be managed through a user’s Apple account on their devices, through the App Store and on the company’s website. It would likely also be an option at checkout on Apple’s online store and at its physical retail locations. Apple accounts are typically tied to a user’s credit or debit card.
Basically, Apple wants to make owning an iPhone like subscribing to apps.
Would that work, do you think?