Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Apple Debuts Apple One Subscription Bundles, Its Twist on Prime

Apple One pricing is displayed during a virtual product launch seen on a laptop computer in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Apple Inc. kicks off a broad slate of new products, with upgrades to two of its most important hardware lines beyond the iPhone.

Apple Inc. unveiled a series of subscription bundles, a long-awaited move that Wall Street hopes will spur more growth in services revenue.

At an online event on Tuesday, the company said it will launch Apple One subscriptions that combine several services — including Apple Music, Apple TV+ and iCloud storage — at a lower price than users would pay if they bought each service individually.The bundles start at $14.95 a month for a tier including Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, and 50 GB of iCloud storage. That lower tier will also have a $19.95 version for families. A Premier tier costs $29.95, adding Apple News+, Apple Fitness+ and 2TB of iCloud storage.

The offerings are geared toward families, meaning they will work with Apple’s Family Sharing system that provides access to as many as six people for each service.

The Apple One Individual plan offers savings of more than $6 a month, while the Family plan saves over $8 per month, the company said in a statement. The Premier plan saves over $25 a month, based on standard monthly pricing, Apple added.

The initiative is a major bid by Apple to achieve the same loyalty that Amazon.com Inc. has won with its Prime program, which combines free shipping with video streaming and many other services for an annual or monthly fee. This bundle is the bedrock of Amazon’s success and has been mimicked by other companies before with mixed results.

Apple has no large e-commerce delivery and warehouse network like Amazon’s, however it has hundreds of millions of ardent hardware customers who have already embraced some of its digital subscriptions. Unlike Prime, Apple is offering several variations at different prices. The bundle offerings will also include access to the Apple Arcade gaming service and Apple News+.

The company also announced a new online workout service called Apple Fitness+, which offers users video classes for workouts. This will integrate with the Fitness app on the iPhone and Apple TV, and requires an Apple Watch. The service will compete with offerings from Peloton Interactive Inc., which sells subscriptions to its fitness service that run in apps and on its workout equipment.

For years, analysts and investors have called for Apple to mimic Amazon’s Prime approach. Some of Apple’s newer services, including News+ and TV+, have started slowly. By bundling them at a discount with more popular services, usage and subscriptions could increase.

Apple’s services segment is one of the company’s fastest growth areas and has become a $50 billion-a-year business. While services like those for advertising and AppleCare were down in recent quarters due to the impact of Covid-19, digital offerings like the App Store, iCloud and video products set records.

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