Orange Spain has announced the launch of direct carrier billing for Apple services. All prepaid and postpaid customers can now purchase content from the Apple’s App Store, iTunes, iBooks and Apple Music via their phone bills. To access the service, Orange customers with a new or existing Apple ID must select “mobile telephone” as a payment method in their account settings for the App Store, Apple Music, iBooks and iTunes. The new payment option will be configured automatically and immediately allows for one-tap purchasing from all the user’s Apple devices, including Apple TV and the Apple Watch.
Direct carrier billing has proved a lucrative strategy both for operators than provide it and for the third-party entities whose services are billed that way. In the case of Apple, with its plethora of services and devices, the arrangement is especially beneficial—and especially appropriate.
Given the dominance of the iPhone among users in developed markets like that of Spain, the demand for services and products offered via the App Store, iTunes, etc., is high, and therefore there is synergy between the operator that provides the connectivity for the phone and the phone itself with its attendant options. The seamlessness of paying for one’s Apple services and phone bill without having to use two accounts is bound to be attractive, and it will likely be a strong force to keep Apple users within the Orange ecosystem. So in addition to driving revenue to the operator, it will also aid in retention.