Apple is expanding its iPhone monthly payment plan to move from an instalment payment plan to a hardware subscription plan, reports Bloomberg.
Currently, under the iPhone Upgrade Program, launched in 2015, users are able to spread the cost of an iPhone over 24 months and upgrade to a new model every 12 months.
Under the new plan, users will no longer be spreading the cost of the handset over 12 or 24 months, but will simply be playing a monthly subscription fee for iPhone handsets, with the cost varying depending on which level of handset users choose to subscribe for. Users will be able to swap out their handset for a new device when these become available. It will likely be tied to the user’s Apple ID and the Apple App Store account, like other Apple subscription services such as Apple Music.
The program would also include other hardware products and would give Apple another source of automatic recurring revenue.
It would also potentially make iPhones more affordable and expand their market. Investors reacted positively to the news, with Apple shares gaining 1.6% to $172.87 on the news.
The service will reportedly launch later this year. Apple has not confirmed the news, with a spokeswoman declining to comment.