Apple sells a lot of iPhones in the U.S. but most of them are bought through retailers or carrier stores. A report published last year claimed that only 20 percent of iPhones sold in the U.S. were bought through an Apple retail store. CEO Tim Cook reportedly wants to boost these numbers and the company may be exploring a new program through which customers can buy iPhones on pre-paid plans within Apple’s own stores.
If this turns out to be true then it would be the first time that customers are allowed to purchase an iPhone at full price and connect it to a pre-paid or month-to-month plan. Previously customers could only purchase an iPhone at full price but either had to use a pre-purchased SIM or over to a carrier outlet.
9to5mac hears from a source “briefed on the upcoming initiatives” that Apple will be partnering with AT&T and T-Mobile on this. Its stores will reportedly stock AT&T GoPhone pre-paid activiation kits and SIM cards, whereas existing T-Mobile SIM card will be used and customers will be allowed to choose the plan of their liking on Magenta. Activations will have to be done within the store at the time of purchase and the iPhones won’t be eligible for return to Apple for a refund.
The company is expected to formally kick off this program in the last week of June, though there’s no official confirmation yet. With Apple due to unveil multiple new iPhones this fall, the program might even help it move any excess iPhone inventory that it may have in U.S. stores.