The ‘Monthlification’ of Apple

“OK, so I just made up a word, but it’s the best word I can think of for one of the biggest new trends with Apple’s business. One that has the potential to dramatically change its relationship with its customers,” Jan Dawson writes for Tech.pinions. “The trend I’m referring to is the increasing move at Apple to establish recurring monthly revenue relationships with its customers and move away from merely having periodic one-off payments for hardware. I think there are several very positive things that could come out of this for Apple but I think there’s also potential for a specific downside to this shift.”

“As a company which began selling hardware and, to a lesser extent, software rather than services, Apple has dabbled over the years with various subscriptions,” Dawson writes. “But over the last several years, Apple’s number of monthly subscription services and their centrality to its product offerings have increased quite a bit.”

“As of today, an avid user of Apple devices and their associated services could easily be spending $50 per month through their iTunes account on a combination of automatically-renewing services, billed monthly. If Apple launches a TV/video subscription service at some point (as seems likely), that total monthly bill could easily rise to $80-100,” Dawson writes. “With the iPhone Upgrade Program, Apple is applying this same subscription and monthly payment model to buying hardware.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As Dawson points out, there is a danger here. The monthly “Apple Bill” is becoming significant and Apple runs the risk of being regarded as are other companies that bill monthly: PITAs like the cable company, the electric company, the “phone” company, etc.

We’d like to see Apple offer some sort of package deal that unifies all of this stuff into manageable bundles of services. One lower price for a bundle of Apple Music, iPhone Upgrade Program, iCloud storage, the forthcoming Apple TV subscriptions, etc.


  1. I heartily second MDN’s suggestion. Give me some bundles. It’s really gotten to be too much. By too much I mean I’m staying away just because I can’t keep it all straight.

  2. MDN and Dawson have a good point.

    A reason for not even trying Apple Music was knowing it would become a monthly bill, along with Netflix and Audible, etc. Look what Adobe has done with their subscription model.

    At some point, it becomes impossible to use all these subscriptions fully, and you don’t even own the stuff you rented.

  3. Felling that myself. Apple upgrade program plus iTunes Match plus 200 gb iCloud plus iTunes music.
    Rough estimate $60 a month.
    Still I do own a big chunk of aapl so I’m buying from myself in a fashion.

  4. Its just starting…
    Let it mature and stablize…
    I personally dont mind dishing out 150-200 a month to apple if i dont have to worry about cable( movies, tv shows) , music , storage and phone instulments…

  5. In the end it’s no different than MS and their Office subscriptions or Adobe and Creative Cloud. Companies want recurring revenue. But it’s just getting more and more expensive.

  6. I don’t see a shift here – most people acquire their phones on some sort of monthly plan now. Apple is just eliminating the middleman.

    Apple Music offers a choice to rent, rather than buy, music. Movies are offered on the same basis.

    If you are a consumer of disposable music then Apple Music will be attractive. If you prefer to listen to classical or older standards then you will probably still be buying CDs.

    There is always pressure on journalists and bloggers to write something. Most of it, today, is nonsense as is the case here.

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