Back in March, the leaker-analyst Mark Gurman claimed that Apple was preparing to launch a new iPhone subscription service, under which customers would pay a flat recurring monthly fee for access to the company’s hardware. This rumor emerged again shortly before the Far Out event last week, with Gurman appearing to imply that the service might be announced on September 7… but in the end it did not make an appearance.
Gurman has not given up on the subscription service, however, and in his latest Power On newsletter he insists that the project is still coming, possibly this year: “The company is indeed still working on a hardware subscription service that will integrate with its Apple One bundles.” He says Apple is actively testing the service, and expects it to launch either later this year or next year.
Given that no announcements have been made, we can’t be certain how the subscription service would work. It will likely be similar to the iPhone upgrade Program, but Gurman believes it will involve an ongoing fixed monthly fee rather than simply dividing the price of the hardware across the payment period. He also says that Apple has “discussed” the option of allowing subscribers to swap to new hardware when new models are released.
It seemed logical for the company to unveil the new service during its iPhone 14 event, since it ties in with the iPhones, but Gurman says the service was left out to “reduce launch day complexity.” A launch later this year could spur sales ahead of the important holiday shopping season and boost subscribers to Apple One.