Apple Pay Later, the buy-now-pay-later service that Apple announced in 2022, is set to launch soon according to CEO Tim Cook.
Cook was speaking as part of Apple's quarterly earnings results with CNBC reporting that he confirmed "it will be launching soon," although he stopped short of saying exactly when that would be. The report also claims that Apple employees are already beta-testing the feature.
The Apple Pay expansion will allow customers to spread the cost of purchases made using their iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac.
Apple hasn't offered up all that many details about how the Apple Pay Later feature will work, but it appears that people will only be able to spend up to $1,000 when using it. That means that you'll be able to pick up an iPhone 14, but buying the best iPhone Apple sells — the iPhone 14 Pro Max — is a non-starter.
As for how it'll work, it sounds surprisingly simple. Purchases will be made via Apple Pay and then split across four equal payments over the course of six weeks. If that sounds similar to what companies like PayPal, Affirm, and Klarna offer, that's because it is.
Apple Pay Later purchases will be interest-free, and there will be no fees beyond any possible overdraft fees applied by a user's bank.
In terms of availability, Apple Pay Later will be a U.S.-only affair, and while Cook says it'll launch soon users will likely need software updates to enable it on their devices. It sounds like iOS 16.3.1 is in the works — could that bring Apple Pay Later to market?
If not, it seems most likely that iOS 16.4 will be the update we're waiting for. That hasn't yet entered beta testing, but it's thought it might be made available for developers to download as soon as next week.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.