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iPhone subscription service could still launch later this year

iPhone subscription service could still launch later this year
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's rumoured hardware subscription service could launch as soon as this year, according to industry insider Mark Gurman.

In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the company is "actively testing" a hardware subscription service that "will integrate with its Apple One bundles". He expects the new service to launch "either later this year or next year".

Nothing's official as yet but the service appears to be a long-term rental scheme that would allow customers to lease (pay to use) Apple hardware without the hassle of credit or financing. 

"The monthly charge wouldn’t be the price of the device split across 12 or 24 months," adds Gurman. "Rather, it would be a yet-to-be-determined monthly fee that depends on which device the user chooses." 

At the end of one or two year lease, customers would either hand back the hardware or start a new lease on newer kit. Handy if you fancy having the latest iPhone every year but don't fancy coughing up the full price.

The service sounds similar to Google’s Pixel Pass (but without the financing). Pixel Pass monthly payments also secure extra services such as YouTube Music Premium – something Apple could potentially offer on services like Apple Music and Apple TV+.

Rumours of an Apple iPhone subscription service have been circulating for years now, and many Apple watchers expected an official announcement at Apple's 'Far Out' iPhone 14 launch on 7th September. 

Alas, it wasn't to be. Gurman believes Apple didn’t announce the programme alongside the iPhone 14 in order to "reduce launch day complexity". In other words, it didn't want "an entirely new way to buy an iPhone" overshadowing the hardware itself. 

So, when can we expect to see it? Cupertino is rumoured to be preparing to launch a new entry-level iPad in October. It could be the perfect time to launch an iPhone and iPad subscription service...

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Tom is a journalist, copywriter and content designer based in the UK. He has written articles for T3, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Elle Deco, The Sunday Times, Men's Health, Mr Porter, Oracle and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile technology, electric vehicles and video streaming.