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Apple reportedly launching subscription bundles with new iPhones this October

Apple reportedly launching subscription bundles with new iPhones this October


Bundles would include news, music, TV, and a new fitness service

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple is planning to unveil a range of subscription bundles alongside its new iPhones this October according to Bloomberg. Internally, the bundles are being referred to as “Apple One,” though that’s not necessarily the name they will launch under.

A number of different tiers will be available, starting with a basic combo of Apple Music and Apple TV+, while more expensive bundles will add Apple Arcade, then Apple News+ at the next tier, then extra iCloud storage for the tier above that.

Higher-end bundles will also reportedly include an as-yet unseen fitness subscription service from Apple. This will offer virtual classes and workouts accessible via an iOS app and on Apple TV, similar to services from Nike and Peloton.

Bloomberg says that the bundles will be marketed towards families, and that they’ll work with Apple’s Family Sharing system, meaning each service can be accessed by up to six individuals. As you’d expect with subscription bundles, buying them will be cheaper than buying individual services. As Bloomberg says: “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.”

Bundles will save customers between $2 and $5 a month

Bloomberg reports that in addition to these bundles, Apple plans to start offering new software and hardware combinations, like including a free year of Apple Arcade with purchases of an Apple TV streaming box. However, Bloomberg says Apple doesn’t plan to include monthly payment plans for iPhones or Macs with these bundles straight away, a possibility Apple CEO Tim Cook has alluded to in the past.

There are no specifics yet on pricing or the exact configuration of each bundle, and it’s very possible these details will change before the bundles are unveiled later this year.

There have been reports of Apple’s plan to offer subscription bundles since at least 2018, but they seem much more concrete now. Just last month, code was found in iOS 13.5.5 that referred to both a “bundle offer” and “bundle subscription,” and in 2019 the company experimented with a bundle for students, packaging together Apple Music and Apple TV+.

Apple has been increasingly focused on recurring revenue from it services business in recent years, particularly as sales from smartphones plateau. And as Amazon has shown with Amazon Prime, which bundles together faster delivery times alongside streaming music and video, subscriptions can provide regular income while locking customers into a company’s ecosystem. Once you’ve bought Prime, it makes sense to order more from Amazon. Apple’s subscription bundles could do the same for its services and hardware.