You might be able to buy an iPhone 14 on subscription this year

iPhone 14 Plus
An iPhone 14 Plus (Image credit: Future)

Depending on where you are in the world, the iPhone 14 line probably either costs the same as the iPhone 13 line did at launch or a bit more, but either way these are very expensive phones. However, there might soon be a new way to buy them that lets you spread the cost.

Apple has for a while been rumored to be working on a subscription service for iPhones and potentially other hardware, and according to Mark Gurman – a Bloomberg journalist with a great track record when comes to Apple leaks – the company might roll the service out either late this year or early next year.

Gurman said as much in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, additionally claiming that “Apple is actively testing this new service.”

This service wouldn’t just be a way to pay off your iPhone gradually. Rather, it would be an ongoing subscription that you’d pay for as long as you keep the phone, but would likely include the option to swap your handset out for a new model, and would apparently integrate with the company’s Apple One software subscriptions.

So, for a (probably high, but currently unknown) monthly fee, you’d have ongoing access to the latest Apple hardware, and software services such as Apple Music and Apple Fitness Plus.

As for when this subscription service might land, Gurman doesn’t get more specific than later this year or early next year, but the next likely opportunity for an announcement would be the new iPad Pro 2022 and the new iPad 2022, which are rumored to be appearing at an event in October.

Analysis: why wasn’t this launched at the iPhone 14 announcement?

It seems odd that Apple didn’t announce its subscription service during the iPhone 14 announcement, since the company could have attracted a lot of sign-ups from customers who will now instead purchase their new phone in the usual way, either direct from Apple or via a carrier.

According to Gurman, Apple decided against this in order to “reduce launch day complexity. After it all, it will add an entirely new way to buy an iPhone.”

That might have been the right call too, as the iPhone 14 ordering process has been anything but smooth so far. As reported by 9to5Mac, delivery estimates for many models quickly slipped to October, and reportedly some people who were told they’d get their phone on launch day (September 16) subsequently saw that date slip.

Plus, there were reports of various errors during checkout, with some customers inadvertently purchasing multiple phones, as they were told an order had failed when it had actually completed.

So while it might have been nice to have the option to order an iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max on subscription, adding another complication to an already glitchy ordering process likely wouldn’t have gone well.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.