After announcing an interest-free financing program for Apple Card customers, Apple is now reportedly exploring the option to sell iPhones on a subscription basis.
According to CNBC, Apple is working on new ways for customers to pay for smartphones, moving towards a more recurring stream of revenue. That would mean introducing a subscription system similar to Amazon Prime — which some have already dubbed “Apple Prime” — using a bundle system that will include the iPhone, iCloud storage, Apple Care, Apple TV+, and other add-ons for one single monthly fee.
“In terms of hardware as a service or as a bundle, if you will, there are customers today that essentially view the hardware like that because they’re on upgrade plans and so forth,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a recent earnings call. “So to some degree that exists today.”
In October, Apple also introduced a new program for Apple Card users, allowing them to finance their Apple purchases for 24 months, interest-free. By using the new Apple Card, customers will also be able to get three percent back on all Apple purchases, two percent on those made using Apple Pay, and one percent on every other purchase. It’s assumed that this system will form the basis of the “Apple Prime” subscription.
Admittedly, the tech giant has already dabbled into the monthly payment system for a while. Since 2015, Apple customers can pay for iPhones on a monthly basis, also including warranty and even phone upgrades — after paying for 12 months, customers can trade their iPhone in and upgrade to the newest model.