August 13—Apple will debut a set of subscription bundles for its digital services called Apple One with its next smartphone refresh, reports Bloomberg. The Cupertino, California-based brand is also developing a virtual fitness package to make subscription products more enticing.
The iPhone maker is launching Apple One intending to duplicate the success Amazon found with its Prime program.
Apple One Details
Apple’s new digital subscription bundles will be made available in a tiered format. The basic Apple One package will feature the firm’s Music and TV Plus offerings while the next level up would include its Arcade service. Another more costly tier will add New Plus to the mix, and the firm’s most expensive bundle will incorporate additional iCloud storage.
The Big Tech firm also plans to add an iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV compatible virtual workout app to its higher-priced bundles. The company codenamed its remote fitness class program “Seymour,” and Bloomberg compared it to services hosted by Peloton and Nike. The corporation is aiming its new bundles at groups, and it will be available through its Family Sharing platform.
Depending on the tier, users can save between $2 to upwards of $5 a month by subscribing to an Apple One package.
Apple intends to launch its new bundles with the release of iOS 14 and its new lineup of iPhones. At present, the company is not planning to include its Apple Care support service in its bundles. Due to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the firm’s supply chain, its traditional September refresh will take place in October.
Two Big Problems with Apple One
On the one hand, Apple’s subscription bundles could be very appealing to consumers who are already part of its ecosystem. The firm’s bundles could lure in iPhone owners who have never tried its full range of digital services. The holistic nature of its subscription packages could also convince budget-conscious consumers to make long-overdue upgrades.
But on the other hand, there seem to be two big problems with Apple One. The first is that the initiative lacks a hardware element, like a tie-in to iPhone Upgrade Program or a discount component. Although Apple makes $50 billion a year from its services, its core brand identity is as an electronics supplier. By excluding its main offerings from its subscription packages, the firm could leave consumers feeling underwhelmed.
That said, October is still two months away, and the company could change its plans based on public feedback.
The bigger, more existential problem with Apple One is it combines services with mixed consumer appeal. Admittedly, the company’s Music app is excellent, and its News Plus offering is a good deal given all it provides. But Arcade has yet to produce a platform exclusive breakout hit, and TV Plus features a notoriously weak streaming library.
Because of these two flaws, Apple One does not feel like it will move the needle in terms of services revenue. Instead of adjusting its pricing, the iPhone maker should focus on making its subscription products the best available on the market. Endeavoring to compensate for mediocrity with affordability is a disheartening strategy that goes against the firm’s legacy.