In Brief

Apple launches new subscription service


16 September 2020

At its prerecorded September keynote event, Apple has revealed new products that suggest the growing importance of subscription services to its business model.

While the company used the event to launch a host of updated hardware within its iPad and Apple Watch ranges, its more surprising news came within the realm of service design: the company launched an Apple One subscription plan that bundles together existing Apple services, as well as a new subscription-based fitness platform.

Apple One combines iCloud Storage, Apple Arcade, Apple Music and a handful of the company's other services as dependent upon the plan chosen. Priced between £19.95 and £29.95 a month, Apple One signifies the company's desire to sign up users to its growing array of services.

Apple's services division saw its revenues rise to $13.2bn last quarter, representing a 162 per cent increase from five years ago.

Alongside Apple One, and included in the plan's upper tier, the company launched Apple Fitness+ – a fitness platform for Apple Watch users.

Fitness+ lets Watch users stream pre-recorded workouts, with their metrics tracked by their watched before being shared on-screen during the workout. The platform is intended to be accessible to all Watch users, with little specialist equipment required for many of the workouts.

This move into the health sphere has also carried across into Apple's hardware, with the company's new Apple Watch 6 capable of measuring blood oxygen levels. The company also announced that it was working with researchers to investigate conditions such as Covid-19 and asthma.

Apple's increasing shift into service design has previously been covered by Disegno in 'Don't Cross the Streams', an essay from Disegno #23 looking at the rise of on-demand streaming platforms.