Apple One, the long-awaited service bundle from Apple, is here – more precisely: three Various Apple One bundles have arrived. This is a move that highlights both the inaccuracy of the Apple One name and the general confusion about current Apple services.
According to Apple, each of the three plans offers big monthly savings, with the cheapest single plan saving $ 6 per month compared to buying each of the four included services separately. The family plan saves $ 8 per month and the Premier plan saves $ 25.
However, these numbers strongly assume that customers want and want to pay for all of these separate services. Take a closer look, and it̵
Let’s start with the Apple One Individual plan. With a single Apple Music plan ($ 9.99 per month), 50GB iCloud storage space ($ 0.99 per month), and access to Apple Arcade ($ 4.99 per month) ) and Apple TV Plus ($ 4.99 per month) for $ 14.99, this seems like saving you money. Unless you want to subscribe to Apple Music and Either Apple Arcade or Apple TV Plus, you’re probably better off just saving the $ 4 and sticking to a combo of Apple Music and iCloud for $ 11.
(As a side note, Apple grants everyone Access to Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus in your family plan, even if you subscribe to it through the “individual plan”, which can affect your calculation.)
It’s similar with the family plan: a regular family plan for Apple Music costs $ 14.99 per month, and a 200GB iCloud bucket (which can already be shared with a whole family) costs $ 2.99. Again if you do want Whether Apple Arcade or Apple TV Plus: With the Apple One Bundle, you get both services effectively for the price of one. However, if all you need is Apple Music and iCloud storage, Apple One doesn’t really offer any advantages.
The Apple One Premier plan looks a little different, however. At $ 29.99 per month, it’s the most expensive of the plans. When compared to the unbundled cost, an Apple Music family plan is again $ 14.99 while a 2TB iCloud plan is $ 9.99. If you’ve already paid for both plans – which isn’t unreasonable for a family heavily invested in Apple products – you’ll only see a $ 5 per month increase to get access to Arcade along with News Plus and Fitness Plus (which is Apple’s most expensive subscriptions at $ 9.99 per month).
For the most part, however, Apple One only makes sense if you’ve already subscribed to Apple’s most sought-after services: iCloud storage, which is used to back up most iPhones, given Apple’s increasingly absurd (and stingy) 5GB capacity for New devices essential is Apple Music. Ultimately, Apple One doesn’t make subscribing to these two key services dramatically cheaper – it just offers a discount for subscribing to Apple’s less popular services. It’s a good discount mind you, but one that still results in most customers paying more than they do now.
The hard numbers confirm this. According to Counterpoint researchApple Music had an estimated 68 million users by the end of 2019. Barclays analysts estimated the company had 170 million paid iCloud customers in 2018. As of February 2020, Apple only had 10 million subscribers to Apple TV Plus – many of whom were participating in the free one-year trial that Apple is offering for the service, which happens to expire next month for the earliest customers. And while estimates are harder to come by for Arcade, it’s probably way below Apple Music and iCloud.
In other words, the number of customers who already subscribe to Apple services beyond Music and iCloud and would actually take advantage of the discounted prices is far higher than the number of customers who don’t. And that’s exactly what Apple One is all about – not to save she Money, but to get you to spend more on services like Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus that you may not have subscribed to before.
It’s also difficult to look at Apple One and not spot a blatant omission: the iPhone. Apple has already tried to include subscription services in a monthly payment for its most popular hardware product with the iPhone Upgrade Program, which offers the latest iPhone and an AppleCare Plus extended warranty for a monthly fee. It’s also possible that Apple will at some point offer an expanded version of this program that will take Apple One into account (possibly along with the upcoming iPhone 12 announcement expected in October). The company sells a lot of different iPhones, and adding their already complex subscription plans to the mix only makes all of this an even bigger mess, especially when considering families with multiple devices. The last thing Apple One needs right now is More Options to choose from.
In the past, however, Apple was a company that used software and services to drive its hardware purchases. Things like iCloud, iMessage, iTunes, and the rest of the Apple software suite were sweeteners for buying an iPhone or Mac. But now the opposite seems to be the case, with Apple seeing software and services as the main driving force.
With this in mind, it makes a lot of sense to use Apple One to increase the number of less popular offerings. And since Apple just wants to highlight these subscriptions going forward, expect more, nothing less, from this type of subscription push.