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iPhone subscription service could reportedly launch this year

iPhone 14 Plus
(Image credit: Future)

You may have been disappointed not to be able to order an iPhone 14 with Apple's rumored iPhone subscription service last Friday, but the good news is this new way of getting an iPhone is still on the way according to the main source of leaks.

Mark Gurman (opens in new tab) of Bloomberg wrote in the subscriber-only edition of his Power On newsletter that Apple "is actively testing" the subscription service, and that it'll arrive either later this year or in 2023.

Gurman also states again that he believes that the hardware subscription will be tied to Apple One, the unified subscription for multiple Apple services like Apple Music, Apple TV Plus and Apple Fitness Plus.

So why didn't it launch alongside the iPhone 14? Gurman says that was "to reduce launch day complexity." That's just as well, since there has already been a fair amount of chaos since iPhone 14 pre-orders opened. A brand-new buying option for users to consider would have snarled up Apple's servers even more, and possibly lead to even higher demand, and therefore greater shipping delays.

Based on previous reports, the Apple hardware subscription will be available for iPhones and other popular products, which we hope includes other newly-announced Apple devices like the Apple Watch 8, Apple Watch Ultra and AirPods Pro 2.

The subscription should also follow a different pricing structure compared to an installment payment plan or the iPhone Upgrade Program, since it sounds like Apple intends for this to be a limited-time loan on the device, rather than something you'll eventually own outright.

There are rumors of an Apple October event next month, so if Apple did want to reveal this new subscription service before the year is out, that would be the obvious venue to do so. The event is already sounding jam-packed according to the rumors, with the iPad 2022, iPad Pro 2022 and new MacBook Pro M2 models tipped to be revealed.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.