Apple today announced Apple One, a new way to get all of Apple’s subscription services in one simple plan, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, and iCloud.
Pricing is reasonable, with the lowest tier offering Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95 per month, a saving of $6 on the individual services.
Not everyone is happy with the bundled services however, with Spotify complaining that the move is simply another example of Apple using its monopoly over iOS users to squash competition.
In a statement the company said:
Once again, Apple is using its dominant position and unfair practices to disadvantage competitors and deprive consumers by favouring its own services. We call on competition authorities to act urgently to restrict Apple’s anti-competitive behaviour, which if left unchecked, will cause irreparable harm to the developer community and threaten our collective freedoms to listen, learn, create, and connect.
By bundling its services Apple is merely multiplying its home base advantage, given that each service would have to charge an additional 30% individually, and would now also have to compete against Apple’s bundle discount.
In the case of a combination of Netflix and Spotify for example, each would lose $3 to Apple, which neatly equals the saving of Apple’s Music and TV bundle for Apple One.
The same would apply to Peleton and other fitness apps competing with Apple Fitness+ and of course cloud storage apps, which are already at a competitive disadvantage to Apple.
On the Premier plan subscribers could save as much as 45% if they purchase a bundle.
While the bundle saves consumers, it means better standalone services are at a massive competitive disadvantage, meaning Apple’s worse services may end up killing better but more expensive services, meaning we all lose, even if we don’t use iPhones.
Apple’s counter-statement is rather meaningless in response, saying:
Customers can discover and enjoy alternatives to every one of Apple’s services. We’re introducing Apple One because it is a great value for customers and a simple way to access the full range of Apple’s subscription services. We’ll be recommending the Apple One plan that saves you the most money based on the subscriptions you already have. It’s perfect for anyone who loves any of our services and wants to get more for less, and it’s especially great for families. Also select services included in Apple One are available to enjoy on non-Apple devices, and you can cancel anytime.
The statement does not mention Apple’s cost advantage due to the absence of the Apple tax, or Apple’s advantage due to being able to bundle a wide range of services at a discount.
Spotify has already complained to the European Union, with an investigation launched in June this year. As the company suggests, this will simply be another exhibit in a rapidly growing list against Apple.