New Apple Card feature offers users no-interest iPhone installment plan

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Apple continues to incentivize customers to use its new Apple Card, and on Tuesday announced an upcoming feature that will grant users the option to buy an iPhone on a no-fee, interest-free installment plan.

Later this year, Apple will allow Apple Card customers to buy a new iPhone from its stores on a 24-month installment plan that carries no interest, fees or other charges. As an Apple purchase, Apple Card users will gain the usual 3% cash back on the buy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the forthcoming feature during a conference call covering the company's fourth quarter earnings.

Cook did not mention when the new "feature" will roll out, but Apple could present the option prior to the lucrative holiday season.

Consistent with earnings for the several past years, Apple's fourth quarter earnings was largely driven by iPhone sales, which equated to $33.4 billion of $64 billion in total revenue. Cook noted iPhone 11 has been the best-performing handset in company history since its launch in September. That said, iPhone revenue dipped 9% on a year-over-year basis, suggesting penetration has plateaued.

Apple is continuously looking for new ways to boost sales of its most important product, from the iPhone Upgrade Program and other strategies, and the Apple Card feature appears to be another avenue for growth.

Tying in an exclusive iPhone purchase program should also serve as a boon to Apple Card adoption. Cook said in today's conference call that Apple Card enjoyed what he characterized as the "most successful" U.S. credit card launch ever, repeating plaudits expressed by financial partner Goldman Sachs in October.