Why Apple Should Launch an iPhone Subscription Program
Just as you can lease a car or subscribe to a streaming service, you might soon have the option to subscribe to an iPhone. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently reported Apple has a subscription plan in the works that would let you pay for your iPhone through a monthly fee rather than buying it. You might be able to swap it out for the latest model when the new iPhone launches, too.To get more news about Robot Subscription, you can visit glprobotics.com official website.
Let me say up front that I think this idea could help to change the tech industry. I know, the idea of Apple changing the tech industry is eyeroll-worthy already. But hear me out. Leasing iPhones instead of selling them traditionally -- if the idea catches on -- could put a serious dent in the tech industry's growing mountain of e-waste.
Since launching the iPhone in 2007, Apple has shipped enough smartphones to circle the Earth more than a dozen times. And Apple's mammoth success, alongside that of countless other computer and gadget makers, has come at a high cost, counted in tons of aluminum, cobalt, copper, glass, gold, lithium and many other raw materials that go into making the device you're reading on right now.A leasing program could help Apple move closer to its goal of creating an iPhone completely sourced from recycled materials, all while convincing users to upgrade their phone every year. More subscribers would equal more revenue for Apple and potentially more iPhones with recycled materials inside.
There are other reasons a program like this could be smart. Leasing iPhones instead of selling them would give fans an easy way to upgrade to the newest model without swallowing the high lump-sum prices Apple charges for phones like the $699 iPhone 13 Mini or $1,099 Pro Max. For Apple, an iPhone subscription offering would likely result in a healthy boost to two of its most important business segments: revenue from the iPhone and digital services like iCloud and Apple TV Plus.
We don't know how much Apple would charge for such a program. So weighing whether it's "worth it" is tough until there's a price. What would happen at the end of the leasing period is also a mystery. (Apple didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for comment about Bloomberg's report.)
There are also already a dizzying number of purchase options to choose from, between trade-in offers, carrier subsidies and Apple's existing iPhone upgrade program. No matter Apple's plan, it would have to be substantially more affordable than these other phone payment options to really catch on with consumers.
Plus, customers are already burned out by the growing number of monthly subscriptions, from streaming services to cell carrier plans to cloud storage. I can think of 10 different digital services I'm currently subscribed to right off the bat, without going through my credit card statements. Are we all willing to add yet another one?Over the past several years, Apple has been very vocal about its plans to reduce its carbon footprint. In some ways, an iPhone subscription plan looks like the logical next step. The offering could include the option to swap out older devices for newer models, according to the report, possibly giving iPhone shoppers another incentive to recycle their old iPhones through Apple.
Apple has made steady progress in its eco-friendly ambitions in the last several years. In 2016, the company introduced Liam, its first robot designed to disassemble iPhones and reuse their parts, before announcing a new robot, called Daisy, in 2018. With the iPhone 12, Apple also stopped including chargers and wired headphones in its iPhone packaging, to reduce waste, a move Samsung mimicked. Among Apple's most ambitious efforts is its pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Over the long term, Apple also wants to build its iPhones without having to source new materials. It's already progressing on that front. The iPhone 13 is the first Apple product to use 100% certified recycled gold in the main logic board's plating. And Apple just announced plans to make the new iPhone SE using low-carbon aluminum.
Such investments show that Apple is putting resources into the behind-the-scenes work that goes into recycling iPhones. By launching an iPhone subscription plan, Apple could make its green initiatives a more crucial part of the iPhone shopping experience, too. Apple has been publicly promoting its trade-in offers and iPhone upgrade program for years, but a subscription service would make it a more integral part of Apple's iPhone business model.
Though it's true Apple and other retailers already offer trade-in programs, global recycling rates have been low. On average, only 20% of electronic waste is officially reported and properly collected, says a January 2019 report from the World Economic Forum and Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy. Just like you'd trade in your car once your lease is up, perhaps this program could help make iPhone trade-ins a standard industry practice rather than just an option to save money.
Aside from potentially helping Apple reduce waste, an iPhone subscription plan could be better for your wallet. Apple, wireless carriers and retailers already offer major trade-in discounts and monthly installment plans. But unlike those existing payment options, this new offering wouldn't split the cost of the device over 12 or 24 months, reports Bloomberg.
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