We should have seen this coming but now Apple has made it official. Getting the latest and greatest Apple product must be considered something of an addiction. Not only are we addicted to the internet for news, information, entertainment, and social connectivity, we’re addicted to the gadgets that get us there.
No technology company is better at feeding this growing addiction than Apple Inc. There’s even an official program to ensure that we won’t need to stand in line, but ensures that we won’t be left behind when new products ship in a year. It’s called the iPhone Upgrade Program, and it might be a vision of our future.
Pay by the month for everything. Forever.
Think about what has been going on in technology in recent years. It used to be we would buy a Mac and keep it until it dropped. But Macs have such good resale value and a growing number of computer users who want and need a value-priced device that it’s often good to upgrade after a couple of years and sell the old model.
That’s exactly what the iPhone Upgrade Program makes even easier. Get a new iPhone every year, pay by the month. Forever. Adobe started something similar a few years ago with Photoshop Creative Cloud which bundled a bunch of the company’s best applications into a suite that was sold subscription only. Pay by the month. Forever.
Microsoft got into the game a few years ago with Office 365, a monthly or annual subscription plan which gave you full access to all the Office apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and even Android devices. Pay by the month. Forever.
Monthly payments are nothing new, but how the subscription model has permeated the consumer technology landscape is.
Apple Inc is richer than most Western European countries, has more money in the bank than the United States Treasury, and definitely has more resources than most banks, so the iPhone Upgrade Program should not have surprised Apple watchers. It’s a good way to get us on the annual upgrade treadmill. Pay by the month. Forever.
How long before the company extends such an option to Mac, iPhone, Apple’s upcoming streaming television program, even Watch? Forget eBay or Craigslist or family hand-me-downs. Apple’s Upgrade Program will get you what you want, when you want it, and all for a monthly subscription price. Pay by the month. Forever.
Of course, even without Apple’s official upgrade program you can do the same thing now. It’s called a credit card. Indeed, that’s exactly how most people finance their new technology. The old fashioned way. Plastic. Apple prospers. Banks prosper. You get to stay on the upgrade treadmill and… insert drum roll here… pay by the month. Forever.
We may as well get used to it. Annual or bi-annual technology upgrades are the future. It’s a treadmill that’s easy to get on, not so easy to get off. Pay by the month. Forever. Banks make a profit on their credit card transactions and an Apple Upgrade Program is merely Apple’s way of skimming from the top.