In addition to unveiling a new Apple Watch, two new iPad models and other offerings, Apple yesterday revealed Apple One: subscription bundles that combine Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News Plus, Apple Arcade and iCloud storage in various configurations and price points.
From a long-term standpoint, the bundles represent a bigger development than nearly any single product introduction.
Like Amazon Prime, Apple One is a business model designed to create a consistent, predictable stream of revenue. Once they subscribe to the system, consumers find it inconvenient to leave, and are likely not only to stay on, but to pay for upgrades and adding more services.
The long-rumored Apple One offering turns out to include three different bundles: Individual, Family, and Premier.
The Individual plan includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95 per month.
The Family plan includes the same apps plus 200GB of iCloud storage for $19.95 per month.
The Premier plan, at $29.95 per month, includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, 2TB of iCloud storage, Apple News+, and Apple Fitness+, a new fitness training subscription service also announced yesterday. (As a stand-alone app, Fitness Plus costs $9.99 per month.)
The three bundles — which also interface with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac — represent savings of more than $6 per month, $8 per month and $25 per month, respectively, compared to their unbundled prices, according to Apple.
There is a single per-month invoice, and customers who pay for their Apple One subscription plan with Apple Card receive 3% cash back.
The offers include a 30-day free trial on any services the buyer does not already have, and subscriptions can be changed or cancelled at any time.
With the Family and Premier plans, up to six family members can access all included services through their own accounts, with personal preferences.
Starting this fall, the Individual and Family plans will be available in more than 100 countries and regions. The Premier plan will be available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, where Apple News+ is available. Apple Fitness+ will join later this year.
Following the Apple One reveal, music and podcast player Spotify — which helped drive the launches of two European Union antitrust probes of Apple’s practices — released a statement again accusing Apple of unfair business practices.
“Once again, Apple is using its dominant position and unfair practices to disadvantage competitors and deprive consumers by favoring its own services,” Spotify wrote. “We call on competition authorities to act urgently to restrict Apple’s anti-competitive behavior, which if left unchecked, will cause irreparable harm to the developer community and threaten our collective freedoms to listen, learn, create, and connect.”
Apple responded with its own statement, stressing that “Customers can discover and enjoy alternatives to every one of Apple’s services,” and that it is launching Apple One “because it is a great value for customers and a simple way to access the full range of Apple’s subscription services.”
“Last June, Apple announced that Apple Music had topped 60 million subscribers, but had a ways to go to catch up to Spotify’s 100 million,” notes The Verge. “This June, Spotify passed 138 million subscribers.”
Apple is also embroiled in a high-profile suit and countersuit dispute with Fortnite, which contends that Apple’s App Store rules, including its 30% cut of most sales, stifle innovation, competition and consumer choice.