Apple might let you pay to use an iPhone like a subscription service

Think of it as Apple's version of Google's Pixel Pass.

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is working on a new subscription service that will allow you to pay for an iPhone every month like you would for one of its digital services. It would be different than a financing plan like the iPhone Upgrade Program which divides the cost of the device between 12 or 24 months. Instead, it would cost an undetermined monthly price that would vary depending on the iPhone you choose.

According to Bloomberg, this service could bundle other Apple services into the monthly cost, such as AppleCare and Apple One. That would obviously sweeten the deal for potential subscribers, but it’s unclear how much you might save every month by bundling.

In addition, Bloomberg says Apple is thinking about giving subscribers the option of upgrading tot the latest hardware once it’s released. This could mean upgrading to the new iPhone every month, or perhaps a new iPad or Apple Watch if the program were to expand to those device categories.

To me, this sounds like Apple’s version of Google’s Pixel Pass. If you’re unfamiliar, Pixel Pass is a subscription service that gets you an unlocked Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, YouTube Premium, Google One, Google Play Pass, and special device care for a set monthly cost. Of course, this subscription requires you to apply for a financing loan, and it’s unclear whether Apple will ask the same from its subscribers.

As The Verge points out, it would certainly be weird if it didn’t. If you can just “subscribe” to get an iPhone, you could (theoretically) subscribe to a plan for a month to try out the latest model and return it when you’re done. That’s obviously a business plan that sounds nothing like Apple at all, so there will undoubtedly be some sort of promise or obligation you’ll need to agree to before you can jump on the service.

While this report cites nothing but rumors, an iPhone subscription plan definitely sounds like something Apple could get into. Over the past few years, the company has been steadily growing its recurring revenue by introducing new services that users pay for each month, generating $19.5 billion in revenue just last quarter. This subscription model would only bolster those numbers to new heights.

Right now, it’s unclear when Apple might launch a service like this, but Bloomberg says it could be ready by the end of 2022 or in early 2023.