Do you know what the best kind of customer is? An existing customer. Apple knows this all too well. This is why it’ll always find ways to make more of them. A recent Bloomberg report reckons that Apple is working on a hardware subscription model intended to bring even more people into Apple’s ecosystem.
Apple would charge a monthly fee and in return, subscribers get a new iPhone, or other Apple product, for the subscription period. So, basically what Mobile Service Providers already do, minus the SIM card.
This is aimed at the people who really want to give Apple more money but don’t have enough to blow on a new iPhone every year. It makes sense. From Apple’s perspective, anyway. Wouldn’t you rather have someone paying you monthly over receiving a lump sum every five to seven years?
iPhones are starting to move into the realm of ‘ridiculously expensive’. The top-spec iPhone 13 Pro Max 1TB costs a whopping R36,700. That’s probably more iPhone than anyone needs unless they’re shooting feature-length movies in RAW format on it.
Doesn’t Apple already offer this?
Yes, sort of. Apple already offers its iPhone Upgrade Program. But that’s limited to iPhones, the cost of which is spread evenly over a 12 – 24-month period. That monthly instalment will differ depending on which iPhone you opt for.
This new subscription service could cover other Apple products as well as iPhones – the new Mac Studio for example – and have a set monthly subscription fee. It’s also possible that customers could swap out their device for a newer one upon release.
Customers would presumably purchase the subscription using their Apple ID through the App Store, on the website or at an iStore. At this point, nothing is confirmed. But if Apple follows through this would be the company’s biggest push for recurring sales — the best kind of sales (if you’re a capitalist).
This push for recurring sales has been the go-to-market strategy for many companies in recent years. Why do you think it’s so much more expensive to buy a single-use licence for Microsoft Office than a monthly or yearly subscription.
According to the report, Apple is working on implementing this new subscription service by the end of this year. But it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s pushed back to 2023 or cancelled entirely if Tim’s bag of money shrinks after allowing everyone to subscribe to the company’s hardware stable.