A big step, raising big questions

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We first heard of an upcoming Apple hardware subscription in March last year, with two subsequent reports – the most recent yesterday – saying it’s been delayed, but the company is still planning to launch it.

Details are scarce, but it looks like it will differ from the existing iPhone Upgrade Program in at least two ways – and probably a third…

The iPhone Upgrade Program (iUP)

The iPhone Upgrade Program (iUP) is a way to purchase an iPhone in installments, spreading the cost over two years.

It can be used in two ways. First, you can just keep your phone, and after two years you will own it completely. Second, you can exchange it for a new model after 11 months. In this second scenario, if you continue to do this every year, you are Effectively rent the phone without ever owning it.

However, there is a technical difference between iUP and rental. Even if you upgrade every year, you still purchase a 24-month installment purchase, and you make technically own the phone. Apple simply accepts it as an exchange for the outstanding balance.

How will an Apple hardware subscription be different?

It will likely be different in three ways:

  • This will be a real rental and not an installment purchase system.
  • It will likely be bundled with more services beyond AppleCare+.
  • It will probably be extended later to other Apple hardware: iPad, Mac, Watch.

A real rental

THE Bloomberg the reports do not contain many details, but the most important is this:

The program would differ from an installment program in that the monthly fee would not be the price of the device spread over 12 or 24 months. Rather, it would be a monthly fee that remains to be determined and depends on the device chosen by the user.

In other words, while the iUP is an installment purchase system that can act like a rental agreement, the Apple hardware subscription It’s true a rental/lease. You simply pay a monthly fee for each month the phone is used.

It is possible, however, that the line between the two is blurred. Apple may offer the option of making an additional payment after one or two years of rental to transfer ownership to you. This is the model used for most car rental contracts: an upfront payment, monthly payments, and then a “lump sum payment” if you want to keep the car instead of returning it. If Apple goes this route, the hardware subscription will likely replace the iUP.

Comes with more services

The iUP comes with AppleCare+. You also have the option to upgrade to the AppleCare+ policy with theft and loss, in which case the additional cost is also spread over the 24 month period.

With a true rental service, it seems likely that Apple will look to pair the phone with one or more additional services.

An obvious possibility here is that the phone will come with an Apple One subscription, potentially with the choice of the same three tiers: individual, family and premier.

iPad, Mac and Apple Watch later

The iUP is, as the name suggests, only available for the iPhone. But I guess even though an Apple hardware subscription will be begin with the iPhone, it will then be extended to other products.

A real rental offers a big advantage over the iUP equivalent for other devices. Most of those who opt for the iUP update their phones either every year or two, with Apple offering options to suit everyone. Other Apple devices, however, tend to be kept for longer – and more variable – periods.

It’s very common to keep a Mac for about five years, for example. Upgrades tend to be driven not by a fixed annual or biennial cycle, but rather by new features. It’s a similar story with the iPad and Apple Watch, where we tend to hang on to our existing model until a new one excites us enough to warrant an upgrade.

For this reason, customers are likely to be very reluctant to be locked into a fixed term – and for something as expensive as some Mac models, may prefer a lower monthly fee over a longer term than a higher rate for two years.

raises many questions

However, a real rental raises a lot of questions. THE Bloomberg report says monthly fees depend on device chosen – but what happens as a product ages?

If I rent the latest MacBook Pro today, will I still pay the same monthly rent if I choose to continue using the same machine for several years? If so, I would obviously be incentivized to upgrade whenever a new model comes out. That would mean Apple would have to calculate lease costs based on annual upgrades (rather), which would be an expensive proposition compared to the cost of a multi-year installment plan.

What happens if someone’s total rental costs exceed the amount they would have paid if they purchased it on an installment plan? Is it just bad luck – they chose to rent – or did Apple cut them some kind of break in this situation?

Will there be minimum rental conditions? What if I want to rent an Apple Watch Ultra for a month for shipping and then return it?

How flexible will rentals be in terms of equipment? Say I’m a video editor who can do just fine with a Mac mini, but I have a big project coming up that would benefit from a Mac Studio or Mac Pro. Could I upgrade to a more powerful model for a month or two and then go back to my original model?

What will be its flexibility in terms of services? Will Apple force me to pay for services I don’t want or need to rent the Mac I want?

Finding the answers to these kinds of questions could be one of the reasons why launching an Apple hardware subscription is more complex than it seems.

Good for Apple, but is it good for customers?

An Apple hardware subscription is almost certainly a smart move for the Cupertino company. Monthly recurring income is the holy grail and the reason Apple got into services in the first place. Converting hardware revenue from lump sums on an unpredictable schedule into fixed monthly payments – while encouraging more frequent upgrades – is a clear win for the company.

But what about customers?

On the plus side, it will provide more flexibility. You can (potentially) rent whatever device you want for as long as you want, then return it when you’re done or ready to trade it in for another one.

On the downside, it’s likely to be a more expensive proposition in the long run, if for no other reason than it incentivizes more frequent upgrades. And in an uncertain economy, if someone loses their job, they could also lose all their devices when they can no longer make the next month’s rental payments.

We increasingly live in a world where what were once fixed lump sum payments are instead turning into monthly subscriptions. We subscribe to Apple Music or Spotify instead of buying CDs. We belong to one or more video streaming services instead of buying DVDs. Many of our apps have moved from a lifetime purchase to a monthly subscription.

This trend clearly presents a mix of advantages and disadvantages for consumers, but among the disadvantages are an increase in our monthly expenses and the virtual certainty of paying more in the long run. Subscription fatigue is already a thing, and renting Apple hardware instead of owning it just might add to that.

We’ll have to wait to see the details before we can assess the value, but what’s your opinion at the moment? Do you think switching from buying to leasing Apple hardware will be a good thing or a bad thing? Please take our survey and share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo: Apple Store, Bangkok/Foster+Partners

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How to Create a New Facebook Account Without a Phone Number
necessary process Create a Facebook account
Not tied to a phone number You have an Android phone and it just needs
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Access the Google Play Store.

Find Facebook Lite Facebook.

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There are many ways To create a Facebook account
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Activating a Facebook account with a fake number has disadvantages and
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If you are new to this social networking platform then… Create a Facebook profile It can be stressful for you. So here are some tips to help you get started with Facebook:

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you signed up for a Facebook account via email, you’ll need to contact
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if you want it now Create a new Facebook account Using your phone number instead of your email address, you need to follow these steps:

Go to facebook.com and click Create New Account.

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How to Create a New Facebook Account on Your Computer
Here we will learn how to create a new Facebook gmail account on computer, and here are the necessary steps:

Turn on the computer and launch the browser.

Click Create New Account.

After that, a window will appear where you need to enter:

Your first and middle name.

Your gmail (which we created earlier).

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After completing these steps, you have to click on Create a Facebook account.

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you have to do is go to your email inbox and you will find a message
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When using your phone to create a new Facebook Gmail account, you must first Download the Facebook app from Google Play
If you are using a phone with limited specs, not enough storage space
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