A bundled monthly fee for access to Apple’s growing subscription-based services has been rumoured for years now, but things seemed to coalesce in a Bloomberg article last month by Mark Gurman. Not only did Gurman get the name right, he also correctly called the idea of tiered bundles — though not the contents of those tiers.1
In linking to it, I wrote that the idea of a package deal would be compelling if it either created a steep discount or had some exclusive features. It looks like Apple went with the former.
J. Fergus, Input:
Individual Apple One plans cost $14.95, Family plans cost $19.95, and the Premier plans run $29.95. Individual plans include 50GB of iCloud storage which upgrades to 200GB on Family plans — which can be shared with up to six people. Upgrading to a Premier plan will provide an additional 2TB of iCloud storage that can also be shared with up to six people. If users are on a Family or Premier plan, they can use their separate accounts for all the included services.
The plans save subscribers anywhere from roughly $6 each month to approximately $25. Any services that users don’t already have will include a 30-day trial. As typical, for an additional kickback, using an Apple Card to pay for a subscription will yield 3 percent cashback.
A savings of $25 per month on the highest-level $30 per month plan is almost a no-brainer, especially since it can be shared amongst six users in a single family. That’s an Apple Music family plan plus two terabytes of iCloud storage plus Apple Arcade — and then you get TV Plus, News Plus, and the new Fitness Plus. If you are all-in on the Apple services ecosystem — especially as a family, but even as an individual — the highest-tier plan should be an easy sell.
But, if you’re like me and only really use Apple Music and iCloud, these plans probably aren’t a big draw — and that seems fine too. These bundles are clearly for people who are mostly or fully invested in Apple’s services and are not bothered by paying for a few other services that they may not use frequently.
I have reservations about how this will be promoted. I can see many push notifications, modal banners, and emails in my future telling me about how, for the same price I pay now, I can also have Apple Arcade. Or, for just a few dollars more, I can get News Plus and Fitness Plus. Thanks, but no thanks.