Apple is still highly dependant on the iPhone for its revenue. Even most of its services are largely dependant and based on iPhone sales. By moving towards a subscription model, Apple is building up the height of the hedge surrounding the wall garden and making it harder for people to leave, effectively locking them into the iPhone ecosystem and guaranteeing future revenue. Wall Street is likely to reward them.
Under the argument for an iPhone subscription, which some people call Apple Prime after the Amazon program of the same name, Apple would bundle hardware upgrades with services such as iCloud storage or Apple TV+ content and hardware for a single monthly fee. This would let it switch iPhone sales from a transactional model to a subscription model, potentially driving the stock price up without having to increase product sales or prices dramatically.
″In terms of hardware as a service or as a bundle, if you will, there are customers today that essentially view the hardware like that because they’re on upgrade plans and so forth,” Cook said during an earnings call. “So to some degree that exists today.”
“My perspective is that will grow in the future to larger numbers. It will grow disproportionately,” he continued.