Apple is reportedly planning an iPhone hardware subscription service

Other devices might also be eligible.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max (David Imel for Engadget)

Apple's iPhones and other devices have become increasingly expensive, and the company may be using alternative sales models to help soften the blow. Bloomberg sources claim Apple is developing a subscription service for the iPhone and other hardware. Akin to the iPhone upgrade program, you'd pay a monthly fee rather than an up-front cost or financed instalments. You'd "likely" manage the subscription through your Apple account.

Full details of what would be included weren't available as of this writing, but the service would include regular upgrades and launch in either late 2022 or early 2023. Pricing is also unknown. Apple's current upgrade program currently requires $35 or more per month to get both yearly iPhone upgrades and continuous AppleCare+ coverage.

Apple has already declined to comment. The company hasn't been shy about moving toward subscriptions, mind you. Digital services like Apple Music, TV+ and Fitness+ have accounted for a rapidly growing slice of the firm's revenue, and have helped soften the ups and downs of seasonal sales cycles as well as a relatively stagnant phone market. A broader hardware subscription offering would expand this strategy — Apple could count on a steadier revenue stream, particularly from customers who'd otherwise wait longer to replace their gadgets.