Apple refuses to give up on iPhone hardware subscription service


iPhone 14 Plus vs. iPhone 14
Multiple Apple financial services efforts have hit engineering hurdles.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple continues working on its long-rumored iPhone hardware subscription service despite hitting several roadblocks. The service was first rumored to launch in late 2022.

With a subscription service, Apple will allow customers to get the latest iPhone by paying a monthly fee. This would save them from shelling out the total device cost upfront.

iPhone hardware subscription service still in the works

Reportedly, Apple’s goal was to launch the iPhone-as-a-subscription service in 2022 or 2023. The company was working on it alongside last year’s iPhone 14, but the former never saw the light of day.

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletterBloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says the subscription service should still arrive … eventually. Perhaps the company could launch the subscription service alongside the iPhone 15 later this year.

An iPhone subscription service could enable more customers to upgrade to the latest iPhone every year, which is ultimately what Apple wants.

Apple continues work on a next-gen financial platform

Some of Apple’s financial initiatives also reportedly hit technical hurdles recently. The company revealed its plan for a service called Apple Pay Later at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, and it was supposed to launch in September. However, the feature still has not gone live. Similarly, Apple announced savings account integration for the Wallet app in October 2022, but it this effort remains in limbo.

Reportedly, all of Apple’s upcoming services have suffered from engineering challenges. The company is working on an underlying platform for its financial services called Project Breakout. It would do all the heavy lifting of interest calculations, credit checks, approvals and more. Apple currently relies on its financial partners for these activities.

Apple Pay Later recently entered retail beta testing. This hints that its public launch should not be far away. It could launch in March or April 2023. As for Apple’s other financial initiatives, it remains unclear when the company will launch them.


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