Apple is working on a subscription service that would allow customers to access its iPhone and other hardware products without buying them outright, a move that would make device ownership similar to paying a monthly app fee, according to people familiar with the plan.
The service, which is in the early stages of development, would be aimed at providing customers with access to Apple’s ecosystem of devices and software without the cost of owning the products. A launch could come as early as next year, the people said, though the plan is still being finalized. Shares of Apple were up 2.3% to $174.07 in early trading Friday. Shares have been on a tear this year, rising more than 50% since February. Already, the iPhone is Apple’s biggest source of sales, generating nearly $192 billion last year — more than half the company’s revenue.