Apple has extended its internal “buy now, pay later” test available to retail employees—allowing them to spread out payments over time.
- Last week, Apple reached out to retail employees to let them know they could partake in the new program that allows customers to spread out payments on Apple products called Apple Pay Later.
- Before opening the program to retail employees, corporate employees tested the new system, Bloomberg reports.
- Apple Pay Later was initially planned to release last September, but technical challenges delayed the release.
- The new program will run on Apple’s new financial platform designed for in-house services.
- Users of the new service can divide their payments into four installments due over six weeks. There are no interest or fees attached.
Why it’s news
Apple Pay Later could make Apple products more accessible to consumers struggling with higher inflation-driven prices. The option to spread out payments could make customers more willing to commit to a big purchase.
iPhone sales have struggled in the last year due to production problems in China. Last week the company predicted that revenue would decline for the second quarter in a row. However, now that production in China has improved, Apple expects iPhone sales to trend upward this quarter.
The buy now, pay later program could give iPhone sales a needed boost. Unlike other tech companies, Apple hasn’t announced any major layoffs, but that doesn’t mean the company is immune to economic uncertainty this year. Last quarter, Apple had its first significant revenue decrease in seven years—one of the worst quarters in the company’s history.
Backing up a bit
Apple’s manufacturers are increasingly located in the U.S.—a move possibly prompted by supply chain disruptions during COVID.
The number of Apple manufacturers in the U.S. has increased this year, potentially in response to ongoing supply-chain disruptions in China. Apple has just over 180 total suppliers, and 48 of those suppliers are based in the U.S. That’s 25 more than in 2021. California was home to less than 10 of these manufacturers. Now it houses 30 of them.
In addition to shifting manufacturing toward the U.S., Apple is increasingly investing in India.