At the end of this year, Apple could offer its hardware as a subscription for the first time and link it to existing services such as Apple One and AppleCare+. There is already a graduated-payment in the USA with the “iPhone Upgrade Program,” but no subscription. Apple is also planning a 15-inch MacBook.

The iPhone Upgrade Program, which has been available in the USA since 2015, allows users to pay for an iPhone in a monthly installment based on the length of use and the total price of the iPhone. In addition, the program includes AppleCare+ extended warranty, and customers can upgrade to a new iPhone model each year after paying a minimum of 12 installments.

Subscription instead of paying in installments

However, it is not a classic subscription like Netflix and Co., but an installment payment based on the hardware price. As Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports, Apple is planning a real subscription for the company’s hardware at the end of this year or early next year, in addition to the subscriptions for music, films and series, games, iCloud, and fitness that are already available. The subscription should include devices such as the iPhone and other products and be based on the price of the selected model, but no longer follow the formula of “price divided by 12 or 24 months” as with the iPhone Upgrade Program. In addition, there are plans to offer the iPhone subscription with Apple One and AppleCare +.

Apple’s services are growing like no other division

Services is currently the company’s fastest-growing division and, according to the latest quarterly report ( PDF ), ranks second in terms of sales behind the iPhone, which accounts for 57.8 percent, with 15.7 percent. Apple’s recurring revenue services represent steady revenue that’s not affected by fluctuations like hardware. Apple, for example, has the highest sales with the iPhone during the holiday season after the presentation of a new generation, after which the sales figures drop until a new model is presented. On the other hand, services such as Apple Music, which are also offered in three stages as Apple One, ensure even and steadily increasing sales.

According to Bloomberg, a subscription for the iPhone and other company products could be announced as early as the end of this year or postponed until 2023. However, the idea could also be discarded again, according to the report.

Cheaper large 15-inch MacBook

In the field of new hardware from Apple, a recent report from Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) has given rise to rumors that the company will offer a cheaper larger notebook for consumers in the future. The talk is about a notebook similar to the MacBook Air, but which will be offered with 15 inches. Apple only offers the MacBook Air with 13.3 inches, but there used to be a smaller version with 11.6 inches. Larger screens are only available in the MacBook Pro 14″ and 16″.

According to the DSCC, the larger “MacBook Air” should be launched next year, as quoted by 9to5mac.

The rumors are supported by the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He expects mass production in the fourth quarter of 2023, if everything goes according to plan. Despite the new form factor, the notebook will be shipped with the same 30-watt USB-C power supply as the current MacBook Air. However, the cheaper 15-inch notebook might not be launched under the name MacBook Air.

Considering all of the facts

Renting instead of buying – a trend that the retail sector discovered some time ago. More and more companies are offering the option of renting products for a monthly fee instead of buying them for a one-off purchase price. Ideally, this is not only cheaper, but also practical. When the subscription expires, for example, you can switch to a newer device model at no extra cost. This is an idea that Apple is apparently increasingly toying with.

At least that’s what Bloomberg journalist and industry expert Mark Gurman claims in a recent article with reference to insiders. According to this, the manufacturer is currently working on the option of renting the iPhone in a kind of subscription service. The approach is not entirely new; in the U.S., Apple already offers the iPhone upgrade program. Customers who sign up for a contract automatically receive the latest model of the Apple smartphone for a fixed monthly price after one year.

It would make sense to offer these services together with the required hardware for a monthly flat rate. Such an option could certainly be extended to other Apple devices in the long run. The idea is well received by investors, and Apple’s share price jumped as a result of the Bloomberg report.


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