Apple announces zero-interest iPhone payment plan for Apple Card users

The Apple Card, along with Apple Pay, helped drive Apple's Services revenue to an all-time high in Q4 2019, compensating for shrinking iPhone sales.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday announced a new perk for Apple Card users. Customers will be able to purchase a new iPhone and pay for it over 24 months with 0 percent interest using the card. They'll also get 3 percent cash back on the total cost of their new iPhone. The new offer will come later this year, Cook said. 

The Apple Card launched in the US in August, "and we've been thrilled by the positive reception we've seen," Cook said Wednesday on a conference call discussing Apple's fourth quarter financial results

"We believe this has been the most successful launch of a credit card in the United States ever," he added. 

Apple's Payment services, including the Apple Card and Apple Pay, brought in record revenue in Q4 2019, the company reported. The Payment revenue helped drive strong overall Services revenue for the quarter -- at $12.51 billion, Q4 services revenue set a new all-time high, beating the previous quarterly record by more than $1 billion. The Services business is now the size of a Fortune 70 company, Cook said.

The Services business should continue to gain momentum, thanks to last month's launch of the game subscription service Apple Arcade, as well as the impending launch of Apple TV Plus.  

Meanwhile, the new Apple Card offering could help the Cupertino tech giant rehabilitate its smartphone sales. iPhone sales totaled $33.36 billion in Q4 2019, down 9 percent year-over-year. Cook noted that this was an improvement over the 15 percent decline Apple saw in the first three quarters of the year. 

He declined to forecast whether iPhone sales would return to growth in 2020 but said "the trends look very good." Cook added, "We put our current thinking in the guidance, and you can tell from the guidance, we are bullish."

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