KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — While the new Apple Watch and iPads look good, Apple’s latest subscription package could prove far more tempting.
Apple One as Apple’s new service is called comes in three different choices, namely Individual, Family and Premier.
They are basically subscription bundles that offer a single payment for various services as opposed to paying for each service separately.
Only the Individual and Family plans will be made available in Malaysia in the following months.
What will you get?
For the Individual plan, you pay RM19.90 a month for the music streaming service Apple Music, Apple TV+ that showcases Apple original programming, Apple Arcade, a game library as well as 50GB of iCloud storage.
Paying for a single subscription price instead of separate subscriptions for the services saves the average Apple user about RM38.70.
For the Family plan, the savings go up to RM40.70 per month and you can share it with up to five other people with a total of 200GB storage in total. The subscription fee? RM33.90 per month.
What’s the catch?
On paper there doesn’t seem to be any so long as you’re in the Apple ecosystem.
For the Family plan, though it has 200GB storage that is shared, each user will still have their own separate account with their individual data kept separate to maintain privacy.
For instance, if user A and B are on the Family plan, neither will be able to view or access each other’s iCloud data with each member logging in with their own unique Apple ID.
This also means that they will all get personalised recommendations based on their preferences so if your kid brother listens to a lot of trap music you aren’t suddenly going to get trap music playlist suggestions from Apple Music.
Is it worth it?
I’d argue the Apple One subscription is good value for the bundling of the iCloud and Music services, both of which already have high subscriber rates.
It’s likely Apple might also be creating Apple One as a way of getting the content on its Arcade and TV+ platforms to more subscribers as individually, they aren’t as appealing as iCloud or Music.
What both Arcade and TV+ lack are “killer” content that will get subscriptions, even if they won’t necessarily be long-term ones.
For instance, in my own case, I’ve subscribed to Netflix for certain shows such as The Witcher and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and bought a Nintendo Switch just so I could play Animal Crossing.
Off the top of my head it’s hard to think of any particular title that would drive subscribers to rush for an Arcade or TV+ subscription.
Perhaps that might change in future but right now Apple still hasn’t quite got the knack of choosing major hit media properties but until that changes, perhaps Apple One might build a following for both services in a way its current efforts haven’t managed yet.
I’m game, what’s next?
It’s currently a waiting game with Apple only giving vague references to Fall as the release period.
Also highlighted in the keynote was Apple’s only fitness subscription service Fitness+ that will see a limited release in a few countries.
Once Fitness+ sees global rollout, maybe Malaysia too will get the Apple One Premier plan that ups the storage to 2TB and includes Fitness+.
In the meantime, with looming economic uncertainties and the growth of cloud service adoption, Apple One couldn’t have chosen a better time to emerge.