After months of rumors, Apple has finally confirmed that it is preparing to bundle its best services into one package. Enter Apple One, a massive subscription service that integrates most of Apple’s best software applications, from video and music to news, fitness, and more.
Learn all about Apple One and what it means for Mac and iOS users in this guide.
What Is Apple One?
Apple One is an all-in-one subscription bundle from the famous iPhone provider. The service brings together all of Apple’s most popular services, including Apple Music, Apple TV, etc. This means you only need to pay one subscription fee per month for all the services that you love, and at a more affordable price. Apple One promises to be a one-stop-shop for Apple services, and could potentially revolutionize the way the company handles software.
It will also include a forthcoming fitness service that will offer video tutorials for workouts and fitness activities. The announcement follows earlier reports saying that the company intends to veer away from hardware and software development to focus on subscription-based services. Users can access these specialized services online using any device with an Apple ID.
What Can We Expect?
The Apple One is a major bid by the company to achieve the same level of loyalty among its customers that Amazon does. The service is being touted as Apple Prime, as it mimics the Amazon Prime program’s service model. It’s a bundled service that provides unlimited access to Prime Video streaming, unlimited music streaming, and unlimited photo storage for those not familiar with Amazon Prime. It also includes free shipping access to Kindle, Audible, and more. Amazon Prime offers multiple services at a lesser total cost, which racks up a total bill of only USD 120 per year. This bundled plan worked very well for Amazon, and the service continues to be the bedrock of Amazon’s success.
Apple plans to follow in Amazon’s footsteps by releasing a combination-type service with all of its major services included. Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and Apple News+ will come bundled into three different tiers, each with a set price point. In essence, subscribers get to pick the combination of services they want without paying for services they don’t. And then there are add-on options that you can include in your selected package. This is, of course, in exchange for a small addition to your monthly fees.
Apple doesn’t have an e-commerce delivery service like Amazon does, but what it does have are hundreds of millions of ardent hardware customers. There is also an abundance of brand-loyal customers who will purchase anything that the company creates. And the company is relying on its loyal customers to patronize its bundled services with equal fervor.
What Are the Benefits of Apple One?
The company has announced that the service is being molded into bundled service for family use. Each bundle will offer a family package option for households with multiple devices to cover. Nevertheless, it would still be possible to purchase each bundle for an individual user. The concept of Family Sharing is similar to that of premium antivirus programs where a single access code can cover multiple devices. In this case, each bundle provides access for up to six family members on different devices simultaneously.
The bundled packages also offer groups of services at lower prices than its usual charge, if consumers subscribed to each offer individually. In other words, Apple intends for the packages to generate annual cost savings for individual subscribers who would otherwise have to take care of multiple payments each month.
The current projections for the cost savings on Apple One don’t appear to have a powerful pull for potential subscribers even then. Cost savings predicted over the internet range somewhere between USD 2 to USD 5 per month, depending on the package. We can hope for more on the cost-savings front. But at the very least we won’t have to pay multiple subscriptions each month.
Why Create an Integrated Subscription Service?
Apple has always been heavy on hardware and software. And thus far, it has managed to stay afloat and beat its competitors by means of hardware and software development alone. But given the ever-increasing volume of software that the company produces that consumers can subscribe to, it only makes sense for the company to find a way to consolidate them. Because let’s face it, having multiple subscriptions is quite challenging to manage. And just imagine the chaos of receiving multiple subscription dues coming your way at the end of each month.
It’s common knowledge that Apple isn’t the first company to offer bundled subscription services. It appears to come in late on the race. Major retailers like Amazon and streaming services like Netflix have managed to create for themselves a kind of one-stop-shop for their services. Another consideration would be a very tight competition in the smartphone and entertainment technology spaces. The company may be at peak position now, but there’s no telling how long it can sustain this position as competitors close in.
Aside from not wanting to confuse people with their services, the tech giant is also in need of additional revenue streams. Wall Street conservatives, analysts, and investors have reportedly clamored for years for the company to develop a service platform similar to Amazon Prime. And aside from that, there was also rampant internal pressure from investors to create a service that could generate a steady stream of revenues. And Apple’s service segment is one of the company’s fastest-growing areas. Reports indicate that the service segment has already become a USD 50 billion a year business. Clearly, the company is on the right track. If the company could bundle its popular services with less popular services at a discount, usage and subscriptions could increase.
When Will the Program Be Released?
The company tested the concept of subscription bundles last year, offering students free access to Apple TV+ with a subscription to Apple Music, although it has never confirmed plans for a wide-range bundle for all its major software. Bloomberg News substantiated the reports after posting an article saying that the company was targeting the release of a bundled service this year. Reports indicated that the service was originally scheduled to launch as early as October this year. And that Apple intended to release it alongside the newest iPhone models.
However, more recent reports indicate that there may be a delay in the release of the service due to the pandemic. But if we could make an intelligent guess, they are going to reschedule release for the earlier part of 2021. There are also rumors that the latest iPhones will include this software, for those who want to sign up via their new phones. But so far there’s no information confirming or denying this claim from the company.
What Are the Subscription Options?
We won’t know the real deal until Apple actually releases the service. But based on what we know so far, the company plans to launch the service with four sub-tiers or bundles. The first tier or bundle includes Apple Music and Apple TV. The next bundle or the second tier includes everything included in the first tier, plus Apple Arcade. Here’s a very helpful review of Apple Arcade, which gives you access to more than 100 Apple games.
The third tier includes everything on the second tier, plus Apple News+. On the other hand, the fourth tier includes everything. That’s Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Arcade, Apple News plus free iCloud storage in a bundle. If you’ll notice, Apple didn’t include other services like Apple Maps and Apple Pay. We’re not sure why, but we’re anticipating an explanation when the service is released. If you’re not familiar with these services, Apple Maps is the Apple equivalent of Google Maps. Apple Pay, on the other hand, is an online service that supports cashless payments and transfers.
The company hasn’t released any information about pricing. Still, it’s quite obvious that it gets more expensive as more services are included in the bundle. The company also hasn’t released information about the sub-options for each tier. But we can be sure that each of the packages will have an option for family use. The bundles should tie up nicely with the Family Sharing system. This allows up to six devices to be connected to the same service at a time. Nevertheless, it’s important for us to point out that these bundles are still under development. And that the components of each bundle can change anytime.
Service subscription bundling is a move that plenty of tech observers and investors have been calling for. That was, at the very least, ever since Apple started to invest huge sums into its service options. The strategy makes a lot of sense, especially in helping the company create a stable recurring revenue business similar to Amazon Prime. It’s also a great way for Apple to boost some of its services that aren’t getting enough attention. And that includes even the most loyal fans of the iPhone. That might include services like Apple News, Apple Arcade, and iCloud.
Then of course there are the benefits to the consumers that the bundles promise to deliver. These include cost savings on an annual basis. And the benefit of having neatly packaged bundles that only contain the services that customers really want and need. We should also mention the practicality of the family sharing option that should appeal to entire households. If the tech giant manages to pull this off, it can expect to gain more subscribers in the coming years. The service has the potential to be the one service to rule them all. We can only hope at this point that it will be able to deliver on its promises.