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Apple expected to launch its iPhone hardware subscription program by March

Rumors about the upcoming iPhone hardware subscription have been circulating for a while, with initial reports suggesting a launch in early 2022. However, it seems that technical challenges have caused delays, and as of February 2023, it’s still uncertain when the program will be launched. According to recent reports, it may not be until March or April before the iPhone hardware subscription finally becomes a reality. This new offering aims to bring Apple’s Services model to the hardware business by allowing customers to receive iPhones and other devices on a monthly basis.

According to Mark Gurman’s Sunday newsletter “Power On” for Bloomberg, Apple is currently working on four fintech initiatives. Two of these, Apple Pay Later and the Apple Card Savings Account, have been made public. However, the tech giant is still in the process of developing two more projects, which include “Apple Pay Monthly Installments” and an iPhone subscription program.

The iPhone subscription program was initially planned for a launch in 2021 with the release of the iPhone 13, or in 2022 with the iPhone 14. However, due to persistent engineering and technical difficulties, progress has been slow, and deadlines have been missed. These setbacks have prevented the introduction of the subscription program as planned.

According to Mark Gurman in his “Power On” newsletter, both the iPhone subscription program and the “Apple Pay Monthly Instalments” project are still being pursued by Apple. Gurman notes that it is evident that the company’s financial push has been more challenging than anticipated. One of the reasons behind this difficulty is the development of a new underlying platform for its financial services, called “Project Breakout,” which will integrate various checks, approvals, and transaction histories typically managed by its financial service partners.

Although the “Apple Pay Monthly Instalments” and the iPhone subscription program may seem similar in nature, they are actually distinct offerings. According to Gurman, the monthly charge for the iPhone hardware subscription will not simply be the cost of the device divided into 12 or 24 payments. Instead, the monthly charge for the iPhone subscription program will have a different pricing structure.

The monthly fee for the iPhone hardware subscription will be a separate, yet-to-be-determined amount that will vary depending on the device selected by the user. This fee will not necessarily lead to ownership of the device. According to Gurman, if Apple is indeed still working on the subscription program, a launch could occur sometime between March and April.