Apple on Tuesday unveiled new cheaper watches and iPhones and refreshed the entry-level iPad. But it also announced the pricing and release dates for new subscription services, including its long-awaited Netflix rival Apple TV+ — new ways for Apple to keep squeezing more money from consumers.
If there was one takeaway from Apple’s big iPhone event Tuesday, it’s that Apple really wants you to own its products, no matter what you’ve got in your bank account.
The latest lineup of iPhones adds more cameras for better photo quality, improved battery life and an appealing price tag. The iPhone 11, which has two cameras, starts at $699 — less than the $1,000 at which Apple has priced its main new phone the past couple years, and potentially priced to woo consumers on the fence about buying the newest Apple offering.
That $1,000 price point now belongs to the iPhone 11 Pro, which has three cameras.
The big question for customers is whether the new features or price points could make yet another upgrade worth it, or whether they want to hold on to an existing device for another year or two — an increasingly popular option. Consumers now own their smartphones for an average of three years, dampening sales across the industry.
With slowing iPhone sales, Apple has been turning to its growing selection of services to help bring in more revenue. On Tuesday, the company announced the pricing for two of its newest subscription products launching this year: Apple Arcade and Apple TV+, both $4.99 a month.
If you go all in on every Apple offering, you could pay the company $479.40 a year. That’s for Apple Music, News+, iCloud, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade. It doesn’t include Apple Care, another $9.99 a month for the basic option, or any of the money you might spend on à la carte books, movies, TV and apps from the App Store.
The iPhone 11 line is scheduled to be available on Sept. 20.
Apple’s new streaming service is going head-to-head not just with Netflix but with an armada of new streaming services from companies like Disney. Some analysts had expected Apple to offer its service for a price around $10 a month. The lower price, including a year free with the purchase of a new device, reflects Apple’s different approach with a smaller selection.
Apple announced the same $4.99-a-month price for its forthcoming game-subscription service, Arcade, that will have 100 games that are exclusive to Apple devices including mobile devices, Macs and the Apple TV. Arcade will launch Sept. 19 in more than 150 countries.