Apple unveils subscription offer – with flexible payment option

Apple is embracing the subscription model for some of its most popular devices and entering the “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) space.

The tech giant “Big Four” is rolling out a new subscription plan in Canada that allows consumers to get continuous access to its latest devices and services, without having to buy or own a technology. Although Apple operates its own e-commerce site and physical stores, the company will offer its subscription plan through third-party retail partners.

The program will allow iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch and iPad customers to subscribe to a range of AppleCare devices, accessories and services over a period of 12, 24 or 36 months. The subscription will be offered free of charge to a limited number of customers, and Apple intends to introduce it quickly in a number of other countries after the initial rollout in Canada.

While Apple offers subscription plans for a number of services, such as streaming music, TV, news, and video games; along with cloud storage and digital fitness, the program marks the company’s first foray into offering access to its devices on a subscription basis. Apple has yet to comment publicly on the program, which was announced by its partner, LiftForward device software platform as a service.

Partly confirming media reports released in July 2021 that it would launch its own BNPL service, Apple also offers a BNPL payment option for the subscription program, which is operated by LiftForward. Instead of paying the full price of a purchase when checking out with a credit or debit card, BNPL allows buyers to divide the total purchase into smaller, often interest-free payments that can be charged to a personal account.

Subscription programs are becoming more and more popular, but are generally not offered to provide unlimited access to technological devices. Quick-service food retailers like Taco Bell and Panera, as well as convenience retailer Circle K, all have subscription plans focused on food and drink. The model is also popular among meal kit providers such as HelloFresh, as well as clothing rental services such as Rent the Runway.

Apple is also innovating by essentially assuming the role of a BNPL service provider (with the help of a partner specializing in financing). Many retailers are offering BNPL flex payment options in conjunction with third-party providers, with PetSmart and Amazon being two recent examples.

But Apple’s move to offer BNPL through retail partners puts it more in the company of a technology provider like Square, which recently acquired AAustralian platform BNPL Afterpay in an all-equity transaction that values ​​Afterpay at around $ 29 billion.

“We built LiftForward to make access to devices and services more equitable, accessible, sustainable and inclusive for consumers and businesses,” said Jeffrey Rogers, Founder and CEO of LiftForward. “Our platform enables software manufacturers and publishers to offer more engaging products and services. for traders and consumers, improving life at affordable prices.

About Matthew R. Dailey

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