- Aug 17, 2014
Apple is working on a way for users to acquire iPhones as part of a subscription service, according to Bloomberg. The service could launch as soon as this year, but it could also arrive in early 2023.
The new offering would fit neatly into Apple's ongoing efforts to emphasize recurring subscription revenue. That model has worked well for big tech companies like Microsoft, which earn most of their revenue from subscriptions, albeit mostly not hardware ones.
Microsoft offers a hardware subscription for the Xbox Series S console, though, and that subscription might be similar to what we would see from Apple with the iPhone. Users pay for an Xbox in installments with a flat monthly fee that also includes online and software subscription services like Xbox Game Pass.
Apple already offers the Prime-like Apple One subscription service that includes (depending on the specific package) Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+, and so on. And there's a program called the iPhone Upgrade Program that allows customers to pay a monthly fee for ongoing iPhone upgrades and a warranty.
We don't know any details yet about how this new service would differ from that. But we could see it being a combination of the two, similar to Microsoft's Xbox subscription. If the report is true, we might hear more when new flagship iPhones are announced this fall.