Subscriptions are the trend of the future that is here already and growing rapidly. For most of Apple’s customers subscriptions started with Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365, but even Apple has subscriptions. How about a subscription for a Mac?
Rent To Buy
A few years ago Apple started the iPhone Upgrade Program. The way it works is simple. You select an iPhone and then make monthly payments for 24 months and the iPhone is yours to own. Or, get a new iPhone every 12 months and the Program starts over again. It’s like rent to own, lease to own, or a subscription fee for a new iPhone every year.
Apple has subscription pricing elsewhere. iCloud storage. Apple Music. Pay by the month to listen select from about 40-million songs. Rent to listen? Stop paying and you have to buy songs, but Apple sells those, too, in iTunes. Apple’s upcoming Apple TV streaming service, designed to compete with YouTub TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others will be a subscription service.
I advocate something akin to Apple Prime, an ongoing, monthly payment– subscription– for other Apple hardware. Mac and iPad and Watch to start. Pay a monthly fee to use the Mac or iPad, but at the end of 24 months or 36 months or whatever, you can start over with a new device– and keep paying– or stop paying and you own it.
Apple could do the same with iCloud. What you get now is more storage for all your devices but for a monthly fee. Apple should and can afford to add a VPN (virtual private network) to the package. One monthly fee to iCloud would cover online storage and online access.
The company seems to be switching to services– subscription software and streaming media services. Why does Apple need a hardware subscription package?
First and foremost, Apple is a hardware company. Those 1.4-billion devices in the wild are the hardware platforms that help the Services group to prosper. Stop growing hardware, and software sales, Services sales– all of it– begins to slow down. If anything, Apple needs even more hardware, and one way to make it happen is a hardware subscription package for Mac, iPad, and Watch.