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Apple reportedly wants you to rent iPhones, but upgrade every year

Apple reportedly wants you to rent iPhones, but upgrade every year
25 Mar, 2022

Apple is seemingly considering the market plausibility of selling iPhones and iPads as a hardware subscription service. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is still figuring out exactly what such a subscription model would bring to the table, and how it could work. The specifics of the deal could be presented to buyers as early as next year itself.

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Such a move sounds like something that could be right up Apple’s strategy in pushing subscriptions and services to users as a key revenue path. In select markets, Apple’s iPhones are already sold in carrier-locked deals, where users pay a fixed amount per month for their phones, telecom plans and Apple’s warranty programme, Care Plus. Such plans already allow users to upgrade their phones every year.

Beyond carrier-locked plans, Apple has been working to unify their services under a single subscription plan, called Apple One. The latter includes iCloud storage, as well as all of Apple’s services such as Music, TV Plus, News and Arcade. Going forward, the latest report states that Apple may look to include hardware as part of this deal as well.

If this does hold true, then Apple may include its iPhones, bundled with Apple Care Plus warranty and the ‘One’ services – all into a single amount billed monthly. Such a plan would also include the ability to upgrade phones every year, as well as iPads.

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However, specifics of such a deal remain under wraps for now. It would be interesting to see how Apple deals with factors such as lock-in periods of such subscriptions, since it may not make absolute sense to offer iPhones for, say, a couple of months. Yet, such a plan could also make its iPhones, which have always been priced in the flagship range, to be more affordable for a larger section of users.

As for iPads, it’s not very clear as to how the move may pan out. iPads often do not have a set annual rhythm in terms of being upgraded by Apple itself, so the subscription plan for the tablets, if announced, would most likely work a bit differently.