The offer complements the iPhone Upgrade Program, which is another way Apple helps people pay for the latest iPhone each year, with AppleCare+ coverage included. Both are alternatives to financing the cost of a phone through a mobile provider or with another credit card (and the interest and fees that may involve).
The company also has an iPhone trade-in program, which encourages people to upgrade at a lower cost than buying a new phone outright. Apple CFO Luca Maestri said on the call that many customers are taking advantage of that offer. The company is seeing more than five times the volume of iPhone trade-ins as it did a year ago.
Apple's far from the only entity to offer 24-month, interest-free financing on devices -- Engadget's parent company Verizon does so for any phone. Still, it's a bonus for people with an Apple Card, and might help Apple entice people to upgrade their phones more often than they might otherwise while cutting out the middleman. As with its services like Apple Music, TV+ and Arcade, it seems Apple is trying to reframe iPhone financing and upgrades as a monthly expense, and not necessarily a large, one-time hit to wallets.