All-in-one Apple hardware and software subscription inevitable, says analyst


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Apple is getting closer to being able to offer a bundle combining its hardware and software services in a single package, Loup Ventures analysts believe, suggesting the company may provide more options for consumers to acquire an iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch via a hardware subscription.

Presently, Apple offers the iPhone Upgrade Program to consumers, enabling participants to pay a monthly subscription fee to possess a current-generation model of the smartphone, and to update it each year as newer models come out. According to analysts Gene Munster and David Stokman of Loup Ventures, this could be expanded to cover other hardware, and possibly even software services like Apple One.

“Apple has a history of perfecting a playbook and then reapplying it to new parts of its business,” the analysts start, before proposing the iPhone Upgrade Program could be reused for the Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch lines to create “hardware subscription offerings” for each range.

“Eventually, we envision the company merging its services offerings, alongside hardware subscriptions, to create a 360-degree bundle,” the firm suggests. “Think of this as paying a monthly fee to Apple for most of your tech needs.”

Consumer shifts

It is reckoned the move would capitalize on macro trends of “an ongoing digital transformation and changing consumer buying preferences,” with Apple thought to be one of the only companies that could make it work due to their ecosystem and maintenance logistics.

For Apple, such a subscription would be great from a financial point of view, as it would increase the revenue generated by subscriptions from around 55% to approaching 85%. This could potentially increase Apple’s revenue as well as representing a more stable income source than the current seasonal hardware-centric approach.

The digital transformation is apparently being accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which will help push for more workers to stay at home. It is suggested that home working after the pandemic subsides will be roughly three times higher than before, while the shift of education back to schools will still require educators and parents to have the capability to move back to learning-from-home at a short…