The Apple spring event has been much along expected lines given that it was focussed almost entirely on launching new services. That includes the new Apple TV+, Apple News+ as well as the world’s first gaming subscription service in the form of Apple Arcade.
Also, it does not mean Apple didn’t have new surprises up its sleeve. For instance, company announced the Apple Card which in reality is a credit card which Apple claims to bring a generational change to the way people have dealt with credit cards ever since its inception several decades back.
Also, with such emphasis on services, Apple’s intentions are clear too; that of having a separate services segment which it hopes will serve as a robust revenue stream. This again should help the company mitigate much of the revenue drop incurred post the decrease in sales of iPhone and iPad devices.
However, with the millions of these entertainment devices still getting sold each year, the company is confident there will never be any dearth of a platform to fuel its services segment. Here is a sneak peek of all that the company announced during its March 25 event.
With the revamped Apple TV app, users will now be able to subscribe to streaming services such as HBO, Showtime and so on. Also, users will be saved from having to browse to the individual channels to watch their programs. Instead, they will be able to watch it all right on the Apple TV+ app itself. That apart, users will be able to watch original video content catering to almost every genre thanks to Apple’s new found collaboration with dozens of production houses.
In fact, the latter part of the event almost entirely featured a long list of celebrity personalities associated with Apple’s media efforts. Those include the likes of Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell to name just a few.
The new Apple TV+ service is scheduled to kick off this fall itself though the company held off from revealing further details such as its price. However, the company did mention it is going to be available on Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio TVs as well as Roku and Amazon set-top boxes. Not to mention, there also is the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV devices that already have support for Apple TV+. Mac devices too will be joining the list though only from fall this year.
Apple also announced its paid subscription service for magazines built along the Netflix model. That includes getting to read all that the user can in a month in exchange for a monthly payment of $9.99. The same in Canada is available for $12.99 though. Onboard the service are some of the most well-known magazines such as Wired, National Geographic, Popular Science and so on. In fact, it’s over 300 magazines that users will have access to right away with more set to be available soon.
The News+ service kicks off in May and will be available free for the first month.
The highlight here is Apple’s foray in the credit card segment with the new Apple card. And coming as it does from Apple, the card couldn’t have been more innovative or beautiful either. Carved entirely out of titanium, the new Apple card is also unlike any other of its ilk. That’s for the simple reason that the card just carries the name and a chip along with the Apple logo. There is none of the usual stuff found on credit cards such as the CVV, expiration date and such.
Launched in collaboration with Goldman Sachs, the new Apple Card will use Master Card’s network for executing transactions worldwide and will be backed by a robust but user-friendly customer service. Speaking of the latter, Apple said getting help on card related issues is going to be as simple as chatting with friends.
Further, Apple Card users will be able to track their spending via the Apple Pay wallet which Apple said has been designed to help a user make wise spending decisions. Among the other highlights of the new Apple Card include the ability to track spending category wise, along with daily cash back incentive depending on where the amount is being spent. Apple also promises the lowest interest rates in the industry besides also committing to the highest standards of privacy and data security. Apple reiterated in no way will Apple, or its partners will be able to use customer info for advertising purpose or otherwise.
This refers to an online subscription service for gaming wherein users will have access to more than a hundred Apple exclusive games, to begin with. Also, the added incentive here is that games from Apple Arcade can also be played offline after those have been downloaded on the user devices.
Apple said the service is going to start this fall, which is also likely when the company will be coming up with the subscription rates as well. Major takeaway from all Apple services are, privacy, ads free and family sharing but we do not know these are enough to lure the loyal Apple customer to buy it as everyone is loaded with tons of other services like Amazon Prime, Netflix etc.