Apple has realised that they don't have the smartphone Monopoly they once did and with declining iPhone sales they needed something to boost revenue, if not short term than long term. This event was a software launch.
Apple has a lot of potential with these platforms. Some were, and some were outright failures.
Let's dive into what was launched and my take on it...
Apple's new subscription-based magazine and news service priced a $9.99 per month.
They have a library of 300 or so magazines on launch.
Some thought this was groundbreaking. Well, let me pop your bubble. It isn't. Why?
Apple some time last year acquired a company called Texture. It's out there look it up.
The service offers you 200+ magazines (Nearly 300 to be accurate), to download and read on your devices, at a rate of you guessed it $9.99 per month.
My father and I have been subscribers to Texture since 2016 if I can remember correctly, so I have a fair bit of experience with the platform. All Apple has done is integrated Texture into Apple News with new rather pointless features that look great for a launch but don't have much productivity benefits to the average reader. However, I will give them credit where it's due. Texture never got the attention it deserved for the ingenuity of the platform. Apple is bringing News Reading and magazine culture to the masses ( albeit the Apple using populous in US and Canada. The UK and Australia will get it in late 2019, and a global rollout can be expected in 2020 though that's me speculating so take that with a pinch of salt) using its reach and influence to popularise the platform.
While my father had read speculation of this announcement possibly happening I had not so this came as a shock to me.
Apple Pay seems to be getting more advanced, and with alleged widespread adoption in the US, they decided to take it one step further.
The Apple Card is a digital card as well as a proper credit card( Full explanation below) that works in conjunction with your Apple wallet.
They Partnered with MasterCard and Goldman Sachs to create this service.
So there is the Digital Card that works with Apple Pay, and for the times you don't have Apple Pay there is a proper Titanium Credit Card with your name engraved on it. This card has-
I don't want to dive into this too much so I'll outline the key benefits-
If you're interested in knowing more or want to sign up, you can do so by clicking the button below.
Apple Arcade is a game subscription service for mobile gaming. While there were no details on the cost, the trailer featured some crispy looking games, so I am substantially more optimistic about this announcement. The iPad Pro's have some serious juice now so it should be fun to see what these games can do with that power.
This was a sneak peak, so I wasn't hoping for much, but this pitch did deliver enough to get me excited.
Apple TV and Apple TV+
This was perhaps the entire focus of the event and yet for me managed to be the most disappointing announcement.
The Apple TV app was refreshed to offer integration with Amazon Prime Video and a channel based subscription service which allows you to watch all a networks shows (HBO or Showtime for example) without leaving the Apple TV app.
This announcement was a bunch of Hollywood A-listers moving around in a carousel talking about their shows, with no trailer followed by Big Bird from Sesame Street and Oprah.
This part of the event was such a disappointment I can't even stress how annoying it was. These shows as impressive as they sounded had little to nothing to show for it. Even the trailer at the end was a 1 minute 44-second montage of a bunch of these shows telling you little to nothing about the actual shows.
Forums over the past couple of months have speculated on something that seemed to be the same story that was told by the launch of Apple TV+. That Apple is not ready to produce original content yet and has bitten off a little more than they can chew.
When you buy a subscription to a streaming service, you buy it because of the content or because the service sells you a promise of good material. Its why people bought into Amazon Prime even though it's the library is not as impressive as Netflix. They showed promise when it came to delivering original content. I do not doubt that the creators and actors Apple is working with are top notch. I also don't doubt that most of the content they will end up rolling out will be great. However, this launch event was counterproductive. Yes, it takes time to develop a library of original content, I don't discount that for one second. That being said, they should have at least waited till they had enough footage for each series or movie to give each a proper trailer so they could actually excite people.
Overall the last 30 minutes of this launch was straight up cringe-worthy. It showed a lack of creativity and work put into the production and Apple's urge to create hype before products were ready (a silent nod to AirPower).