Which is best? Rent vs. Own? The proper answer is, of course, it depends. Situations vary, but historically Apple’s customers have been just that; customers. That means we buy hardware to own, and we buy software to use.
Nothing improves without change, but there is a growing change that is not improving my bank or credit card balance, but has improved Apple’s balance sheet. How much software or services are you renting these days?
Rent vs. Own
We have college age kids and both are on the same campus, a good distance from home. That means we would pay extra for room and board on campus, or pay extra to rent an apartment. Rent. It’s a time honored method of obtaining something to use on a temporary basis.
Instead of renting, we opted to buy a small condominium for the kids to use for a few years. We pay the monthly mortgage, yes, but once they have been graduated, we can sell the condo for at least what we paid, and that means we get all our money back (and perhaps more).
Rent vs. Own is an age old battle, but it seems these days as if renting– application subscriptions, or hardware lease or rent to own, has become Apple’s methodology. That renting mindset is everywhere.
For example, application subscriptions are just that. Renting. We rent many of our third party applications. Stop paying the monthly rental fee, and the app no longer works. It’s that way with Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s that way with Microsoft Office. It’s that way with iCloud, too. Stop paying the monthly iCloud rental fee and you can no longer access your files.
Apple wants customers to be renters.
Ongoing revenue. It’s like AppleCare for the masses. If you want your Apple gadget to be in safe hands in case something goes wrong after the warranty period, the ongoing fees of AppleCare make it possible.
And it helps to keep Apple Inc. a very rich company.
The same method is use on the iPhone Upgrade Program. It’s rent-to-own. Lease-to-own. Pay a monthly fee, get a new iPhone every year. Or, keep it for two years and it’s your iPhone to sell if you choose. Along the way, you pay a bit extra for AppleCare which means you give money to Apple to ensure the device is in good working condition when you turn it back into Apple.
Apple wants you to be a renter and the method appears to be working very well. That explains why Services is Apple’s fastest growing and second largest revenue and profit group; ahead of Mac and iPad combined.
Renting is good for landlords. Apple is becoming our online landlord.