Apple Store now lets you buy items via PayPal

The new payment option is only available in the US and UK -- and only on Apple's website at this point.

This is the first time Apple has supported PayPal as a payment option for physical items, such as iPhones, iPads and Macs. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

You can now pay for your next iPhone or iPad at Apple's online store using your PayPal account.

Previously, you could pay for Apple products and accessories online using only a credit card, special financing or an Apple Store gift card. But now when you order an item through Apple's online store, you'll see PayPal listed as an additional payment option. Select PayPal, and Apple will direct you to the PayPal site to sign in and confirm your purchase.

So far, the PayPal option is available only on Apple's website and does not appear on the Apple Store mobile iOS app. Support is limited to just the US and UK.

PayPal has long been an option for Apple iTunes and App Store content. You can set up your Apple account to pay for such digital items via a credit card or PayPal. But this is the first time Apple has supported PayPal as an online payment option for physical items, such as iPhone, iPads, Macs and all the related products and accessories.

Apple and PayPal have had a seemingly more competitive relationship as of late. Apple's new mobile payments system, Apple Pay, certainly stands to rival PayPal for mobile transactions. Launching Apple Pay during the iPhone 6 event in September, Apple didn't announce PayPal as one of its partners. Shortly after the event, PayPal took a dig at Apple Pay by by hinting that it may not be as secure as Apple claims.

So just why have Apple and PayPal come together for this new option?

For PayPal, the move gives it access to the second largest online retailer in the US, according to Internet Retailer. And for Apple, the move lets it expand the ways that its customers can afford its products.

PayPal gives you the ease of use and the security of using a single online account rather than forcing you to juggle with credit cards. Further, Apple is offering PayPal credit with no interest, so you can take as long as 18 months to pay off any purchase more than $250. That could certainly help people better afford Apple's pricier items, such as a Retina Display iMac or a top-of-the-line Mac Pro. PayPay credit could also serve as a handy option to pay for the most luxurious and expensive edition of the Apple Watch when that device launches sometime early next year.

Apple and PayPal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Via Recode)