Apple has applied for a trademark on the term “iPhone for Life” in Hong Kong, according to a new report. Spotted by Patently Apple, the new application doesn’t specify what the term would be used for, however.

The term does immediately remind us of the iPhone Upgrade Program but with Hong Kong already running that iPhone purchase method, it isn’t clear how Apple intends to employ the new term.

Apple applied for the trademark in September – Patently Apple’s report says April, but it misread the HK date format – so it could be some time before we see “iPhone for Life” appearing in any marketing materials.

The trademark has been made in two categories, both suggesting some sort of subscription or financial system.

Class 35: “Retail store services and retail store services provided via communications networks featuring handheld mobile digital electronic devices and other consumer electronics, computer software, accessories, peripherals and carrying cases for the aforesaid devices, and pre-recorded music; product demonstrations provided in-store and via communications networks; information and consultation in connection with the foregoing; computerized data storage and retrieval services for digital text, data, image, audio, and video works; information and consultation in connection therewith.”

Class 36: “Financial services; financing services; banking services; financing of loans; extension of retail credit; installment loans; lease-purchase financing; debit and credit card services; issuance of credit cards; payment services; financial transaction services; electronic payment processing services; electronic payment processing services using biometric technology for identification and authentication; financial services, namely, accepting, processing, authenticating, managing and reconciling electronic payments and electronic payment transactions; insurance and warranty services; providing and underwriting warranty and extended warranty contracts; gift card and prepaid card services; providing rebates at participating establishments of others through use of a membership card; providing cash and other rebates for credit card use as part of a customer loyalty program; charitable fundraising services; financial counseling services; financial advice and consultancy services; providing financial information about stocks; providing information in the fields of investment and finance.”

Much like patents, it’s important to remember that not all trademarks will automatically mean we will see a new product or service come out the other side. Especially considering the term appears to describe something Apple already offers – the iPhone Upgrade Program.

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