According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a hardware subscription service that would allow people to “subscribe” and receive an iPhone or other device as part of their membership, similar to how iCloud works now.

Customers would pay a monthly subscription charge to have access to a device for the duration of the subscription. This would be excellent for customers who cannot afford to buy an expensive iPhone, iPad, or Mac up front but can afford to pay a monthly fee for the item, and it would also increase Apple’s earnings.

Customers will be able to subscribe to hardware with their Apple ID and App Store account, making the purchase of an iPhone or iPad “on par” with purchasing iCloud storage or paying for an Apple Music subscription.

It would be different from the iPhone Upgrade Program in that Apple would collect a monthly fee that has yet to be established rather than spreading the cost of a device over 12 or 24 months. While the iPhone Upgrade Program is confined to the iPhone, it would cover other goods as well.

When new goods are introduced, it may allow subscription subscribers to swap out their devices for current models, and it has had internal discussions about connecting the subscription scheme to Apple One bundles and AppleCare maintenance plans.

Customers would be able to purchase a hardware subscription directly from their devices, via the App Store, the company’s website, or an Apple online store.

The service will be the “largest push yet” towards recurring revenues, although it is still in the early stages of development, and little is known about it at this moment. Apple has been working on it for months, but it was delayed to allow the company to focus on a separate “buy now, pay later” service that allows customers to pay for Apple Pay items in monthly instalments.

Apple plans to launch hardware subscriptions by the end of 2022, but it might be postponed until 2023 or cancelled entirely if the company decides to take a different path.

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