Engineering problems have so far kept Apple from starting the service, but the expected iPhone subscription is still reportedly on track to be launched by March or April.
Purchasing an iPhone may soon become easier with Apple’s iPhone subscription service
In 2022, it was reported that Apple would expand its Services model to its hardware business, by allowing customers to purchase iPhones, iPads, etc, in installments. The goal is to make buying an iPhone or iPad comparable to paying monthly fees for iCloud storage or an Apple Music membership.
In the latest edition of his “Power On” newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman revealed Apple is now engaged in four fintech projects. Apple has announced two, Apple Pay Later and the Apple Card Savings Account, but is still working on “Apple Pay Monthly Installments” and the iPhone subscription service.
In terms of the iPhone subscription service, the intended release date was 2022 or 2023. It was still under development when the iPhone 14 was unveiled last year, which would have been the ideal occasion for its debut, but the service never went live. Still, it ought to be released eventually. In the long run, Apple undoubtedly benefits from anything that makes it simpler for customers to purchase iPhones that continue to get more expensive.
According to Gurman, the Monthly Installments project and the iPhone subscription are both still in progress at Apple, and it is evident that the financial drive has proven more challenging than projected. This is due in part to Apple’s development of “Project Breakout,” the platform that would support its financial services and contain “checks, approvals, and transaction histories” typically handled by its other financial service partners.
Although the idea behind Apple Pay Monthly Installments and an iPhone subscription service may seem similar, Gurman explains that they are distinct because the monthly fee for the iPhone hardware program won’t represent the price of the device split across 12 or 24 months.
Instead, it would be a “yet-to-be-determined monthly fee that depends on which device the user chooses,” rather than a charge that would inevitably lead to the user finally buying the device.
Gurman thinks the iPhone subscription service might be released by March or April if Apple is still working on it.