Whether by the month or by the year, subscriptions are nothing new, so Amazon’s popular Prime service hasn’t blazed any new trails. What Prime has done well is package a number of items to increase Amazon’s value to the customer.
I consider it unlikely that Apple will introduce iPrime or iBundle Apple Prime but some kind of package subscription makes plenty of sense considering that Apple’s product line has grown large and long. We already have Apple Music and subscription apps in the Mac App Store and iOS App Store, so why not an Apple Prime package?
After all, Apple is all about the user experience in the ecosystem. Christopher Mims in The Wall Street Journal:
Contrary to popular belief, Apple Inc. isn’t a hardware company. Nor is it a software company.
Uh, OK. so even though Apple gets most revenue and profits from hardware, and the fast growing Services group is dependent upon hardware, what kind of company is Apple again?
Apple is, fundamentally, an ecosystem company—one that, with the help of millions of developers world-wide, has created a vast web of software and services that run on its 1.3 billion active devices.
Alright, fair enough. I’ll buy that. But I would rather subscribe to it. Popular Apple analyst Horace Dediu:
One way for Apple to resolve the hardware-versus-services tension would be to roll them into one giant subscription
Get the Apple products you want, pay by the month. Don’t some of us do that already with our credit cards? I mean, I use a credit card for Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program. A credit card gets me a new Mac every x-number of years. Watch was purchased on a credit card and the same card pays for the LTE option and my iPhone’s monthly cellphone payment.
The difference is that each purchase is individual and there is no single subscription that would pay Apple for everything.
Throw health monitoring, an iCloud subscription, Apple Music, Apple’s original programming and more into a cable TV-like bundle, or a la carte, and Apple could go from being a hit-driven company to one that throws off predictable, consistent, subscription-based revenue.
That makes good sense, and partly because Apple’s entire ecosystem is so, you know, it’s that word all the kids are using these days– sticky. Once you buy a pair of AirPods or Watch are you likely to switch from iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy Note? Of course not. There is pain and expense involved.
Well, once you sign up for Apple Prime and get a Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, AirPods, Apple Music and Apple TV subscription, are you likely to switch to Samsung, Google, or Amazon for anything?
Back up just a couple of decades– back to when Steve Jobs introduced the iMac in 1998– and tell me how many Apple products you owned. A Mac, right? Then along came Apple Stores, iLife and iWork and iPod and iTunes. After that it was iPhone and iPad, Apple TV (the one worth buying), new Macs, Beats headphones, Watch and AirPod, and soon, HomePod. So, the ecosystem has grown and stretched our credit card balance sufficiently that Apple Bank and Apple Prime should be the next step.
If such a subscription service includes TV shows and movie, Apple Music, and hardware that can be swapped out every few years, then I’m all in.
I wonder what that would cost each month?