Apple wants you to rent the iPhone 14 – and I think that's a great idea

Apple's considering a hardware subscription plan: think Apple One with the iPhone 14 thrown in

Apple iPhone 14
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Have you ever wished it was easier to have the latest iPhone? Apple might be able to help. A new leak says it's working on a hardware subscription service that would effectively enable you to rent your iPhone 14, and possibly other Apple kit too. 

I think that's a really interesting idea, and it builds on something Apple already offers: Its iPhone upgrade programme, which currently starts at £37.50 per month for the iPhone 13 in the UK. It's a bit more complex in the US, where the quoted price is $29.15 a month but varies depending on which, if any, network you want to use, but it's still keenly priced.

That doesn't just get you the phone: it gets you AppleCare+ too, which covers accidental damage. And it's a pretty good deal. What if Apple also offered Apple One for a lower price too and put them all in one epic Apple bundle?

Everything everywhere all of the time

If you run the numbers, the iPhone Upgrade Programme is a pretty good deal. You commit to a long-term relationship with Apple, and Apple gives you a discount on the cost of an iPhone 13 with AppleCare+ and an upgrade every year.

The payments are interest-free, which is really unusual in the current climate, so if you go for the iPhone 13 you'll pay £900 over two years. That's a saving of £68 compared to paying up-front for your iPhone and AppleCare+, and you get an iPhone 14 next year, an iPhone 15 the year after that and so on. The only restriction is that you need to sign up for two years each time, and of course you need to arrange your own data plan. 

What if Apple also included Apple One in that bundle? 

That'd give you Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and iCloud+ too. That's currently £14.95 a month; I'm on the Premier Plan so I can share everything with my family, so I'm paying £29.95 a month. Apple already offers three month trials of that for free, and it also bundles a year of Apple TV+ with new devices, so clearly it can afford to discount Apple One as part of a bigger bundle too.

For you, that means the best phone with the best Apple insurance and all of Apple's subscription services too. And for Apple, it means continuous cashflow and more people using and becoming locked into its ecosystem instead of using rivals such as Spotify; get them with the iPhone now and you're much more likely to sell them AirPods Pro, an iPad Air or a MacBook Air later. By bundling the services with the hardware, the services end up selling more hardware.

I think this is really interesting, and if the price is right it could be a big help for those of us who want to have the latest tech but who are feeling the pinch as the cost of living increases. It's a win for Apple, but it's also potentially a big win for us.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).