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Apple has been increasingly relying on services revenue of late. With iPhone sales plateauing, it has released more and more subscription services: Apple Music, Apple News, and Apple TV+, to name a few.
With many users starting to suffer from “subscription fatigue” – and some Apple services doing much better than others – many commentators have suggested a discounted all-Apple bundle could be a good idea for users and Apple’s bottom line alike.
As noted in 9to5Mac, internal code in the latest beta release of iOS 13.5.5 has been picked apart by developers, with new references to a “bundle offer” and “bundle subscription” discovered. This is a big clue that Apple is at the very least testing the idea of a services bundle internally.
Currently, Apple Music and Apple News each cost $10/month, with Apple TV+ at just $5/month. There are also various paid levels of iCloud storage to take into account. A single Apple Bundle that offered the lot for $15-$20/month may entice more customers to try out the services that don’t appeal enough to pay for on their own. Apple News in particular has struggled to pick up a large number of subscribers and could do with a leg up – and it’s unclear how successful Apple TV+ will be once the many free memberships given out with product purchases expire.
With WWDC 2020 coming later this month, and with it a first look at iOS 14, it’s tempting to think Apple could unveil a new subscription bundle very soon. However, the Financial Times noted that Apple has recently agreed new deals with major record labels in relation to fees for Apple Music – and the agreement doesn’t mention any kind of multi-service bundle revenue. So maybe a grand Apple Bundle is still a year or so away.
It’s also possible this code discovery has nothing to do with Apple’s own services, but instead is a new feature to help third-party app developers bundle subscriptions in the same way they can currently bundle app purchases.