Apple will be launching new iPhones this Wednesday, but the Far Out event could also be announcing a new way to buy and sell the company’s phones.
Mark Gurman, a leaker with a large readership and a decent predictive track record, has posted a preview of Apple’s September 7 event and has a mention of the rumored hardware subscription service near the end. There are few new details in the article, but we already have a rough idea of how this would work from when Gurman originally predicted it in the spring.
By paying a monthly subscription fee, customers get a new iPhone and most likely some bundled services like Apple TV+ or additional iCloud storage. Gurman says it will be paired with Apple One, the company’s bundle of services, but it’s unclear how much more expensive this would be with the included handset.
Back in the spring, Gurman thought the subscription service would try to undermine the current iPhone upgrade program, which starts at $35.33 per month. He suggested monthly fees of $35, $45, and $50 for the latest iPhones in standard, Pro, and Pro Max specs, though he stressed that these were “obviously just arithmetic.”
But adding Apple One services points to higher prices. After all, Apple One Premier, the current top-end, costs $29.95 per month alone. If you get it all, the logic would suggest something north of $50, although Apple may be trying to hit a lower headline number by offering a subscription that includes only a few of the bundled services.
Regardless of the pricing strategy Apple chooses, expect to pay more than the total retail price of the phone while owning it. There will be savings on the bundled services – you can currently save about $20 a month by getting an Apple One Premier sub instead of paying for the services separately – but Apple is always more generous with software or entertainment products that have fixed costs. to the company than those where it should be concerned about unit margins.
Gurman doesn’t stop predicting that iPhone+, as the subscription service could theoretically be branded, will be announced at the Far Out event. “As of now,” he writes instead, hedging his bets, “I have no reason to believe that… [it] will not happen before the end of the year.” And we all know that the iPhone 14 launch won’t be the last Apple event of 2022 — it might not even be the most interesting.
Still, it would make more sense to announce a new iPhone payment system at an iPhone event than one that targets Macs and iPads.
We’ll hear on Wednesday whether Apple is ready to announce the iPhone subscription service. If you want to get the news right away, you can watch the event live and of course follow all the announcements and analysis here on Macworld.