Whispers of a possible Apple subscription bundle have been in the air for about a year now but did anyone has had any idea what Apple has bundled in it. Yesterday, killing all sort of speculations and rumours, Apple introduced Apple One.
For the last few weeks, Apple centred blogs were spotting affirmative evidence regarding Apple subscription service coming in a bundle. The wait is finally over now as Apple has launched Apple One in an online event yesterday.
It all started in June when the very first slivers of information initially surfaced when 9to5Mac, a website that keeps track of all Apple related developments, noticed references to a “bundle offer” in a beta release of iOS called iOS 13.5.5.
Things were fairly quiet for a few months after that until Bloomberg published a detailed piece in August enumerating all the features of the Apple subscription bundle, citing internal sources. This pretty much confirmed the news, and it became known that the subscription bundle will be called “Apple One”.
Anticipation mounted last week, when 9to5Google, the Google centered counterpart of 9tp5Mac reported finding mentions of Apple One in Apple Music’s Android code.
Soon after, on Saturday, 9to5Mac, released a final update confirming similar Apple One related strings in the new iOS codes. These codes feature commands and prompts such as “Keep Apple One”, “Cancel Apple One”, and “You can unsubscribe from Apple One and keep only what you want”.
On the same day, another Apple centered blog, MacRumors, unearthed a number of sub-domains registered under the Apple One domain name. According to the report, it is unclear as yet what the Apple One domain address will be, but it will include sections such as appleone.audio, appleone.film, appleone.cloud, etc.
It’s probably the first time ever when the leaks and rumours were so certain about the Apple One. On September 15, it became clear how correct all of them were as Apple announced Apple One, a subscription bundle, offering a slew of services for a fixed monthly fee, starting from $14.99 per month.
Apple One: Tiered Bundles and a New Fitness Subscription
As is the aim of any bundled service, Apple One offers more services for a lesser price to consumers in an integrated package, to make things more convenient. Apple One subscribers will be able to save $2 – $5 on each service they choose to avail.
This leads us to the most noteworthy feature of the bundle. Under Apple One, Apple has offered a combination of services at different price tiers – individual, family, and premier. The most basic package includes an Apple Music subscription, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ and 50GB of iCloud storage only. The family tier includes the former three services along with 200GB of iCloud storage. In this way, packages will build up to add more services to the bundle for a higher subscription fee. The bundles go up to offering Apple One Premium tier which includes all of above along with Apple News+ Apple Fitness+ and 2TB of iCloud storage for up to six family members.
However, if consumers do not find a bundle suited to their usage, they always have the option to buy individual subscriptions of the services they do use. At the same time, when buying a bundle, customers will not be charged additionally to use the services they opted for, which might seem like a given, but maybe a possible doubt for some.
A very striking development to Apple’s service ecosystem is the addition of a health and fitness subscription, named as Fitness+. Said to be in similar veins to the virtual fitness classes offered by big names like Nike.inc, this service allows Apple users to maintain healthy exercise and regimes through their Apple device. This feature is supplemented by the new version of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Watch SE the company launched alongside.
These Apple One bundles will also be compatible with Apple’s Family Sharing System, allowing families of up to 6 to share their subscriptions. This would also ensure more sales of higher-tiered bundles because different members will have different app priorities. This considerably decreases a family’s overall subscription expenditure which can easily come to $100 per month for a single person or household, according to a US study.
Apple One bundles comes with a 30-day free trial.
Apple has dabbled in bundled offers once before when Apple TV+ was being offered for free along with Apple Music’s student discounted version. However, the company didn’t talk much about the move and how it affected their service usage. Nonetheless, it was probably an experimental first step for their future bundle endeavors, as well as a promotional strategy for the then newly launched Apple TV+.
A Possible Contender for Amazon Prime?
To some Apple’s venture into bundled subscription seems very similar to Amazon Prime’s offerings, so much so that the bundle was informally dubbed “Apple Prime” late last year when momentum was just building.
As exciting as that may sound, Apple’s intention is most likely not to squash Amazon. For one, both companies have very different operations. While Apple is primarily a premium hardware device producer, Amazon is a massive all-in-one online marketplace.
The two companies’ services may overlap to a small extent, most notably in cases of their music streaming and cloud storage services, but it can be argued that they still largely have very different things to offer.
Apple’s goal is to create a seamless device and service ecosystem that is extremely well-integrated and capable of retaining customers. On the other hand, Amazon’s goal seems more akin to market monopoly. While both companies, in the end, seek to maintain and increase their revenue and user base, their modes of doing so are decidedly distinct.
Coming back to the overlapping services, both companies have upper hands depending on the nature of the service. For instance, Apple Music is the second most popular music streaming service this year after Spotify. However, in terms of video streaming, Amazon Prime Video has a more vast, seasoned, and versatile library to offer, owing to being a veteran as compared to Apple TV+.
Nonetheless, both companies maintain a steady stream of revenue due to the subscriptions they offer. Apple’s services have steadily been taking up more and more portion of the company’s overall revenue, generating $13.1 billion out of its total Q3 2020 revenue of $58 billion, the second-highest after iPhone sales.
Apple Is Here To Kill
Apple disappointed many by not announcing anything related to Apple 12, however, all the announcements the company made yesterday will have a significant impact on the company’s overall growth in the near future.
Alongside Apple One, Apple also launched the next series of its smartwatches Apple Watch Series 6, and an affordable counterpart to these devices, named as Apple Watch SE.
Additionally, a revised edition of the iPad Air is unveiled. This new Apple iPad Air (4th generation) has narrower bezels compared to other iPads in order to widen available screen space. The fingerprint sensor on the home button along with rear and front camera makes the product much more enticing.
Apple’s Time Flies event was not limited to Apple Watch or iPad Air. A new iPad Pro, A14 bionic chipset along with the immediate release of iOS 14 were also the part of the event.
With a range of new products and services Apple is alls et to kill many closest competitors, be it Samsung Tablets, Google Cloud, Amazon Music or Spotify. In fact, Spotify, the largest subscription-driven music streaming platform, has started creating uproared against Apple and accused the company of taking undue advantages of its dominant position in smartphone space to disadvantage competitors and deprive consumers by favouring its own services.
Now, it’s upto consumers to decide how much value they see in Apple’s latest offerings. Below is a glimpse of all the actions that took place yesterday at Apple’s Time Flies event.