Apple is reportedly preparing to launch a new all-in-one subscription service that marries together everything from Apple Music to Apple TV Plus and makes it easier to manage all your subscriptions in one place.
Known as Apple One, the bundled subscription service may even launch tomorrow (September 15), at Apple’s next big event. Like WWDC 2020, that event will be an online-only affair that goes live at 10am PT / 1pm EST / 6pm BST (4am AEDT on September 16 in Australia).
We’re expecting to see a new Apple Watch, a new iPad Air, and perhaps some Apple One details – though the iPhone 12 is expected to be announced a few weeks later.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? An all-in-one Apple subscription service.
- When will it be released? September / October 2020, according to rumors.
- How much will it cost? We think prices will start at around $10 / £10 / AU$15 per month.
We first heard about Apple One back in August, when Bloomberg published a report having spoken to “people with knowledge of the effort”. According to the report, Apple One will consist of “a series of bundles that will let customers subscribe to several of the company’s digital services at a lower monthly price”.
There will apparently be several tiers, with the basic Apple One package including both Apple Music and Apple TV Plus, while a pricier version would also add Apple Arcade. Another step up would add Apple News Plus, and the top tier would additionally give you more iCloud storage.
There might even be a new service in the mix too; rumor has it that Apple is about to launch a digital health and fitness subscription, similar to those offered by Fitbit and Peloton, which will be included in Apple One.
According to Bloomberg, the bundles “are planned to launch as early as October alongside the next iPhone line” – though a September 15 announcement certainly isn’t out of the question, especially as code discovered in iOS by 9to5Mac and website domain registrations spotted by MacRumors have recently confirmed the Apple One name.
Though details of the new service are a little thin on the ground right now, we’ve collated all the Apple One rumors we can find, along with some of the features we’re expecting to see.
Apple One release date
However, with an Apple event coming up tomorrow (September 15), it could launch even sooner.
Neither release window has been confirmed – in fact, the tech giant hasn’t even authenticated Apple One’s existence, so any potential release date is steeped in rumor.
Saying that, the October release date was initially posited by Bloomberg, which spoke to “people with knowledge of the effort” – and with iOS code and website domain registrations pertaining to Apple One recently coming to light, a late 2020 release date looks pretty likely.
Apple One price
Apple One is apparently designed to save customers money, as well as enticing more users to sign up to Apple’s subscription services. According to Bloomberg, “the offerings are designed to save consumers about $2 to upwards of $5 a month, depending on the package chosen.”
“For example, if a family subscribes today to all of Apple’s major services plus the highest iCloud storage tier, that would cost about $45 a month. A new bundle could knock more than $5 off that.”
While we don’t know exactly how much the different tiers will cost, we can hazard a few guesses based on the cost of Apple’s existing services.
According to that Bloomberg report, there will be several tiers at different prices. The basic Apple One package will reportedly include Apple Music and Apple TV Plus, which cost $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$11.99 and $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 per month respectively (with discounts available for families and students).
Right now, the combined cost of those two services works out at around $15 / £15 / AU$20 per month – so if the basic Apple One package is going to appeal, it should really bring that price down to somewhere in the region of $10 / £10 / AU$15.
It’s rumored that the next tier up will include Apple Arcade, which costs $5 / £5 / AU$8 per month – that’s already pretty cheap, so it will be interesting to see how much Apple can reduce that price by.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Apple One is also rumored to include a new fitness subscription, so that could feature in this second tier.
The next tier up will reportedly include Apple News Plus, which normally costs $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$14.99 per month, while the priciest tier will apparently get you more iCloud storage.
Apple One services
Apple One will reportedly bundle the tech giant’s existing subscription services into a number of tiered streaming packages. The services we’re expecting to see in these bundles include Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, and a new subscription service that would offer virtual fitness classes, which could be accessed on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
Right now, it’s not clear whether these bundles will be fixed, or whether you’ll be able to pick and choose the different subscriptions you’d like as part of your Apple One bundle – we’re hoping that this is the case, otherwise you may be lumbered with subscriptions you don’t actually want in order to get access to the services you do want.
Not familiar with Apple’s subscription services? Here’s an overview of all the different platforms you can sign up for:
Apple Music is the tech giant’s answer to Spotify, boasting a large song library, numbering around 50 million, across a broad range of genres.
As well as music streaming, the service offers podcasts and the Apple 1 radio station (formerly known as Beats 1), as well as stations dedicated to pop hits and country music.
Prices vary, with a cheaper plan aimed at students ($4.99 / £4.99 / AU$5.99), while individual accounts cost $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$11.99. There’s also a family subscription for up to six people, which costs $14.99 / £14.99 / AU$17.99.
The inclusion of Apple Music within the Apple One bundled subscription service could give the streaming platform a much-needed boost in its battle to be the best music streaming service in the world; however, with 72 million subscribers compared to Spotify‘s 130 million, it has a long road ahead.
Apple TV Plus
The Apple TV streaming service is the most recent addition to Apple’s services, offering a slate of original programming for a small monthly price ($4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99). And while the launch lineup was pretty bare, the service has gradually grown to include other shows and programs beyond the (exceptional) The Morning Show it debuted with.
It’s not perfectly implemented, being merged with the Apple TV app and lacking clarity on what’s included and what you have to rent/buy from a licensed partner. You get a year’s subscription free, though, when buying a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, so it’s well worth making use of after a hardware purchase.
Apple Arcade is a paid-for subscription service for iOS games. For the price of $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99, you get access to 100+ indie titles to be played on your iPhone, iPad, Macbook, or Apple TV – meaning none of these are AAA blockbusters, tending to be smaller, lower-spec affairs that can run on the average Apple handset. But there are some real gems here, such as Sayonara Wild Knights, and a mix of exclusive titles (Card of Darkness) or ports of existing games (Enter The Gungeon). You can even connect a PS4 DualShock or Xbox One controller to improve the gameplay too.
Apple News Plus
Apple News Plus gives you access to over 300 high-quality digital magazines and premium newspapers in the Apple News app.
Premium digital subscriptions like Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired and National Geographic are included in Apple News Plus, and this means there’s a fee of $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$14.99 a month.
What about an Apple fitness service?
Apple is believed to be developing a subscription service for interactive workouts, much like those offered by Peloton.
Details are sparse at the moment, and it’s not clear whether workouts would be broadcast live from studios or entirely pre-recorded, but it’s likely that they would be accessible on a range of devices including iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.
Peloton has aimed its services squarely at Apple users (it launched a dedicated Apple Watch app only a few months ago, and its newly launched Peloton Bike+ can be paired with an Apple Watch with a single tap), so it faces some very stiff competition if Apple releases a similar product as part of an Apple One bundle – particularly if it undercuts Peloton’s monthly fee.