Something went wrong between Apple and French fintech Alma

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Buying an iPhone in installments is no longer possible since October 18. And behind this lack of payment facility option, a very discreet break with heavy consequences for a French startup called Alma. Born in 2017 by a former French employee of Stripe, the young shoot had made Apple its first big customer.

What happened ? Since the coronavirus crisis and the explosion of payments on the Internet, the split payment market has seen its number of players multiply. Some, like the Swedish fintech Klarna, have seen their capitalization explode. Alma in France found herself a little suffocated. Last February, for its international expansion, it raised 115 million euros in a Series C.

iPhones paid for in 24 monthly installments

Since this summer, the fintech specializing in split payment has been working with Apple for a rather exceptional contract. Customers could then find a solution to finance the heavy payment for an iPhone over several months, at no additional cost. The iPhone 14, presented last September, is the first in the Apple range not to drop below 1000 euros. Quite a budget for which Alma’s offer becomes very relevant.

A month after the termination of this contract, neither Apple nor Alma have commented. Our brothers and sisters from Echoes recalled this particularly curious situation recently. In the middle of Black Friday, with the end of the year holidays approaching and galloping inflation, it is hard to believe that Apple can do without a payment facility of up to 24 monthly payments.

There are few clues to understand what is happening, especially since the official Apple site has not replaced Alma with another partner. If we relate to the rumours, then maybe we could see a connection between Apple’s plan to launch its iPhones in a subscription offer. A few days before the release of the iPhone 14, many thought that it was no longer going to be mandatory to buy an iPhone, and that a rental offer was coming.

In any case, this is what the specialist in future Apple releases from Bloomberg, Mark Gurman, continues to believe. He wrote in September that the service is still in the works. It would concern iPhones, as well as Macs and iPads. Apple would not be the first brand to launch such an offer. Nokia or Fairphone have already deployed their subscription offer. Finally, the apple brand could draw an ecological speech from such a launch – by renting a product, we would no longer find ourselves keeping it at the bottom of a drawer after having replaced it.

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