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Is Apple one worth it? Why you shouldn’t automatically subscribe

Convenient? Sure. A bargain? That’s down to how much Apple you’re willing to eat

Apple One has launched. Rather than join individual Apple subscription services, you can now opt for a bundle and save money. Open Settings, tap your name and then Subscriptions. If you already have Apple Music or other Apple subscriptions, you’ll be urged to join — in rather unsubtle fashion.

But should you? The answer is probably. Or, rather… it depends

Free trials

If you’ve not yet taken advantage of Apple’s free trials, you can snag a month of Apple One. But you might also be able to get lengthy free trials in some services via other means.

With Apple Music, you can get two: one as a standalone sign-up, and a second for a family account that other members of your household can use. And when buying new Apple hardware, you get three months of Apple Arcade with an iPhone, iPod touch or Apple TV, and a year of Apple TV+ with those devices or an iPad.

Should you already be on an Apple TV+ trial due to end between November and January, Apple has extended such free plans through February. Since all Apple One plans include Apple TV+, factor that into sign-up decisions if you’re currently getting it for nothing.

Value for money

Once you’ve exhausted free trials, Apple One makes more sense, but only if you already subscribe to — or are interested in — enough of the included services.

With the Individual plan, you get Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ and 50GB iCloud storage for $14.95/£14.95 per month. The Family plan ups the price to $19.95/£19.95 but lets you share Apple Music with up to six family members, and increases iCloud storage to 200GB. Compared to standard monthly payments, you’re effectively getting Apple Arcade or Apple TV+ and the iCloud storage for free.

The most expensive plan is Premier, which for $29.95/£29.95 ups iCloud storage to 2TB and adds Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+. In the US and UK, respectively, that represents a saving of roughly $25 and £22 over standard monthly prices.

It’s complicated

The thing is, these savings aren’t necessarily money in your pocket. For one thing, Apple Fitness+ isn’t out yet — it’s due later this year. And even then, the value in Premier comes from regularly using all its services; if you don’t, you’re burning money.

Similarly, Individual and Family are an obvious choice if you subscribe to — or are keen on — Apple Music and at least one of Apple Arcade or Apple TV+. But if all you really want is Apple Music and Apple News+, there’s little point signing up. (And things are further complicated by individual $99/£99 annual plans for Apple Music, which cut even more into potential savings.)

Because Apple One doesn’t lock you into a long-term contract, there is admittedly little risk. And although some Apple services are better than others, they do all offer strong value and are worth investigating. But if you were hoping for a stupendous bargain that couldn’t be missed, it’s time for a reality check.