Apple’s first keynote of the year is set to be a bit out of the ordinary. Following on from a week of numerous hardware refreshes, it has cleared the way for a keynote that focus solely on services rather than hardware or software, but what exactly should we expect to see get announced?
No not that Apple TV! This is a subscription service akin to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, and will probably actually just be called Apple Video. Apple have been signing up talent and commission shows for over a year now, and is set to launch its own media streaming service this year. The service will obviously be available on Apple hardware, but also on numerous other TVs via AirPlay … I wouldn’t even be surprised to see an Android app!
This keynote is set to feature numerous celebrities and creators talking about their upcoming shows, the question is wether Apple have signed up enough existing content to make the service attractive at launch. More than likely it will launch in US only later this summer for $9.99 per month.
Apple is set to unveil a new subscription service in Apple News, which will allow subscribers to view context that normally resides behind a paywall. The major question is how many of the big players will be in on the deal, with the rumoured 50/50 split between publications and Apple, publications would need a lot of page views to make up the numbers. Apple has lots of magazines signed up curtesy of its acquisitions of texture last year, but signing up the major newspaper will represent a more trickier challenge to Apple. This is set to roll out imminently for $9.99 per month.
This one isn’t as nailed on as the other 2 services, but Apple has been rumoured to be releasing a gaming subscription service … the caveat being that the partnering games will give up all their content for free without in app purchases. Unlike the recently announced Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud, the games themselves won’t be streamed, it’s just the free games and content that’s included in the subscription. The release of Mario Kart for mobile was recently delayed, so we can all hope it’s included in this services. I would expect this to roll out with an iOS 12 update this summer for $9.99 a month.
OK, let’s be serious, this is the probably the only thing it won’t be called, but with all these subscriptions in addition to Apple Music, and indeed iCloud, it would make sense for Apple to bundle all or some these services together. I could imagine getting the magazine subscription for free if you subscribe to Apple Music and Video, but that sounds a bit too generous for Apple!
What if the card in your Apple Pay wallet, was an actual digital representation of your Apple Credit Card? Well this is one of the rumours doing the rounds, and Apple have been doing a trial with Goldman Sachs to make it happen. I think we haven’t heard enough about this for it to be imminent, but if I get cash back on Apple products and services then I’m in!