Apple Prepping 'Apple One' Bundled Subscription Services

Apple is prepping a new initiative called 'Apple One,' a series of bundles that will let customers subscribe to several of the company’s digital offerings.

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report is preparing to roll out a new initiative called “Apple One,” a series of bundles that will let customers subscribe to several of the company’s digital entertainment and productivity offerings at a packaged-up monthly price.

Citing people familiar with the plans, Bloomberg reported Thursday that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company was looking to launch Apple One as early as October alongside the next line of iPhones, many of which will include faster 5G capability.

Different tiers will be offered to subscribers, including a basic package that will include Apple Music and Apple TV+, a more expensive option that tacks on the Apple Arcade gaming service, and a third option that adds Apple News+, according to Bloomberg. The top Apple One bundle will include extra iCloud storage for files and photos.

The effort follows in the footsteps of Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report, specifically its Prime program, which combines its video and music streaming service with free, expedited shipping and other services for a flat monthly fee.

However, it also follows a familiar yet not-so-well-received trend adapted by the cable-television industry that forced TV-watchers to pay for bundled channels they didn't necessarily want or need in order to receive the ones they did.

The iPhone and iPad will suggest different Apple One packages to users based on which Apple apps and services they already use. The feature will come later this year as part of iOS 14, the next software update for Apple’s devices, Bloomberg said.

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The company also is developing a new subscription for virtual fitness classes that can be used via an app for the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, according to Bloomberg.

Codenamed “Seymour,” that service will be offered in a higher-end bundle designed to entice users of other virtual classes offered by the likes of Peloton Interactive  (PTON) - Get Peloton Interactive, Inc. Class A Report and Nike  (NKE) - Get NIKE, Inc. (NKE) Report, Bloomberg said.

To be sure, Apple still has its work cut out for it, particularly in China, the world's biggest smartphone market, where the number of smartphone shipped plunged last month. 

Overall, units sold dropped by more than one-third over 2019 levels, with “multinational brands” (i.e. Apple, mostly) dropping 30%, according to Apple Maven's Daniel Martins.

But others see the likes of subscription services-focused companies like Peloton, Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Report and Roku  (ROKU) - Get Roku, Inc. Class A Report losing out to the new service, especially if its bundled with other services for a lower monthly fee.

Shares of Apple were up 1.07% at $456.89 in trading on Thursday. Shares of Peloton, meanwhile, were down 0.33% at $64.15, while shares of Netflix were up 0.78% at $479.19. Amazon stock was up 1.01% at $3,194.05.