Apple shows us time and time again that they refuse to run out of ideas. From devices to software, they’re constantly pushing out new ideas on an almost yearly basis and showing us, the public, via their live-streamed announcement events. Monday’s #AppleEvent was no different, but at the same time, it was definitely different.
Apple announced four new services: Apple TV+ (Apple’s original shows and movies platform), Apple News+ (magazines in the News app), Apple Arcade, and Apple Card, with TV+ and News+ being subscription-based upgrades to currently free apps. Apple arcade is a new section of the App Store that you access with yet another subscription, but you get unlimited access to endless games in that area (and those games look cool as hell). Apple Card was easily the biggest, most ground-breaking and game-changing announcement on the day, but I’ll get to that later.
The way that this event was different is that it showed a lot about the direction Apple is going in and how the consumer experience is changing for those purchasing and using their devices. Here’s what I gathered from watching most of the announcement.
Apple is running out of ways to generate revenue.
Like I said above, three of the new services unveiled at today’s event are subscription-oriented, something that isn’t terribly common coming from Apple. Apple News+ will come at a seemingly reasonable price of $9.99, giving readers access to a massive catalog of roughly 300 magazine publications directly in the existing News app, and prices for Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade are still to be announced. Adding to the already available Apple Music, you could be paying upwards of $30-$40 in subscriptions alone to Apple just for entertainment content. Following slowed iPhone sales in 2018, it’s not exactly surprising that Apple is looking for more ways to get iOS users to opt into new subscriptions.
Apple is still trying to be innovative AF.
If you thought AirPods were a flex, get ready to flex your financial muscles.
Apple Card is the tech giant’s entry into the credit card game. Back by Goldman Sachs and Mastercard, the card is stored directly in your Apple Pay Wallet, and offers instant cash back for purchases. The big flex? If you encounter a place that still doesn’t accept Apple Pay, you can get a physical card. Made of titanium. With your name laser-etched into it.
Move over, broke ass AirPods.
The announcement touted no fees associated with the Apple Card (yes, they said NO fees), lower interest (allegedly), and the security users come to expect from Apple products and Apple Pay. However, that interest is really not as low as you may think, with rates ranging from 13.24%-24.24%, all depending on your credit.
This all means one thing: Apple is still willing to venture into new lands and new industries to help stay relevant. This card is likely something I’ll look into, especially given the possibility of a decently low APR and the other features it’ll possess in Wallet, but it still isn’t something groundbreaking for all users.
Apple’s focus is seeming to shift from hardware to software and experience
It isn’t a secret: each new iPhone seems to be nothing extremely different from the one that came before it. Gone are the days of massive changes from phone to phone, so it seems like Apple is trying to add new software, experiences, and subscription services to hopefully keep you around. With phone sales slipping in recent years, the thought of getting all of your favorite magazines on your phone for only ten buckaroos may be enough to keep you hooked to your iPhone. Maybe the security of having your credit card securely in Apple’s virtual wallet is of big interest to you. Or one of your favorite actors/actresses/filmmakers is featuring new material on Apple TV+. Apple is counting on those ideas to convince you to stay. And honestly, it’s working. I’m not going anywhere.
Today’s event, while seemingly uneventful, was rather telling. The fact that Apple is willing to help change the credit card and financial game is pretty huge, and I’m excited to see how that goes for them and the final details of the Apple Card, as well as the possibility of throwing down a damn titanium credit card with an Apple logo on it, yelling “Take my money, peasant!” and tipping my server well (please tip your servers).
As always, you can head to Apple’s website to view the entire Apple Event and read up on the new innovations that were announced.