Apple is expected to launch a service that will allow customers to subscribe to its hardware rather than paying the full cost outright.
Ever since the first iPhone was released in 2007, millions and millions of people across the globe have become avid users of the device, so much so that they regularly pay to swap older models for the most recently-released version.
With its popularity unlikely to die down any time soon, Apple is now said to be looking into a new way to allow customers to access its products in the form of the subscription service.
The service would apply to the iPhone and other hardware products, and would work to make the ownership of such products similar to paying a monthly fee for an app or feature, such as Apple Music or iCloud storage.
News of the service comes from people with knowledge of the matter cited by Bloomberg, with the project described as Apple's biggest push yet into sales that recur automatically.
The project is still in development and has not yet been officially announced, with a spokesperson for Apple declining to comment on the plan. While it could still end up getting cancelled, the subscription service is currently expected to launch at the end of 2022 and has seemingly proved popular, as Bloomberg noted Apple shares climbed to a session high after the news was first reported on Thursday (24 March).
If it does come into fruition, the service is said to allow users to pay a monthly fee that would differ depending on the device being used, rather than existing processes that split the cost of the device over 12 months or two years.
The price of the subscription would depend on which device the user chooses to use, and they would be able to subscribe using their existing Apple ID and App Store account.
With discussions still underway, the company has talked about allowing users to trade their devices for the latest models as they come out, which typically occurs about once a year, as well as attaching the subscription service to its Apple One bundles and AppleCare technical support plans.
The premise of the subscription service has been in the works at Apple for some time, but it was put on the back burner recently as the company focused instead on a 'buy now, pay later' service.