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Apple bundles TV, music, news and more in services push

Apple is packing TV, music, news and more in a subscription bundle as it increases its push into services tied to its iPhone ‘ecosystem.’ ― AFP pic

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 16 ― Apple yesterday said it is putting TV, music, news and more in a subscription bundle as it increases its push into services tied to its iPhone “ecosystem.”

An Apple One bundle to be available later this year will start at US$15 (RM62) monthly and include a freshly launched fitness service tied to Apple Watch.

The Silicon Valley titan made no mention of a keenly anticipated iPhone 5G considered vital to the company’s fortunes, with analysts expecting that debut next month, due to disruption in production caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The subscription bundle highlights Apple’s efforts to put more emphasis on digital content and services amid a sluggish global smartphone market.

The US$15 Apple One bundle includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, the Apple Arcade game service and iCloud storage. A US$20 family plan can be shared by up to six people.

An upgraded US$30 bundle adds Apple Fitness+, Apple News+ and additional cloud storage.

“With Apple One, you can access the best of Apple entertainment across all your favourite devices with one simple subscription,” said Apple senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue.

The Fitness+ service introduced by Apple is tied to its smartwatch line-up, which was enhanced with a Watch SE at US$279, a price lower than that of its flagship wrist devices.

Apple also unveiled its Series 6 smartwatch, starting at US$399, and added new features including monitoring sleep and blood oxygen levels as well as detecting when wearers are washing their hands.

“Hand washing detective recognises the motion and sound when washing your hands and encourages you to continue for the recommended 20 seconds,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said during a presentation streamed from the company’s spaceship campus in Silicon Valley.

Apple touched on roles its smartwatch, services and iPad in working or learning remotely and staying healthy as the pandemic continues to disrupt people’s lives.

Apple Watch also serves as an anchor to the tech giant’s mobile software, since it synchs with the iPhone.

“The key part for Apple is to keep the base of iPhone users and sell them a ton of accessories like AirPods and get services,” said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy.

Apple also announced its eighth-generation iPad with its A12 Bionic chip starting at just US$329, and a more powerful iPad Air from US$499 with powered by the A14 Bionic chip. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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