Apple is reportedly working on a hardware subscription service for its iPhone, launching possibly in late 2022 or early 2023.
It follows Apple’s push towards subscription services and automatically recurring sales in recent years, when it began emphasising subscription services like Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, and Apple Fitness Plus as key revenue streams. All these services so far though is for digital products; this new service could turn out to be a major strategy shift for Apple, who has so far only sold its hardware at full cost or through instalments.
The idea is that users will buy an iPhone in the same way they are paying for an iCloud storage now – by paying a monthly fee. And the fee won’t be just the cost of the phone split over 12 or 24 months, but at a yet-to-be-determined fee depending on the device. Users may even be able to upgrade to the latest new phones as they are released, which typically happens once a year for iPhones.
iPhone was Apple’s biggest source of sales in 2021, generating nearly US$192 billion, which is more than half its revenue. If the service pans out, it may turn into Apple’s biggest revenue stream yet.
What do you think? Will you sign up for a hardware subscription service?