Apple just unveiled a slew of services on its 2019 special event held at Steve Jobs Center, Cupertino. Apple had invited the press and other guests for this event touted as showtime. And the eventful stage showcased the reveal of Apple Card, Apple News Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple TV Plus, and more programmes to the Apple TV platform.
Apple Card – A digital credit card
As Apple puts it, Apple Card is a “new kind of credit card created by Apple and designed to help customers lead a healthier financial life”. It would be available right within the Apple Wallet app on your iPhones. And yes, just like Apple Pay, you could manage your Apple card account right on iPhone.
Apple Card Features are:
- Use it in stores, in apps or online worldwide, wherever Apple Pay is supported. (And places where Apple pay isn’t supported, you could use the all-new titanium Apple card.)
- View and manage your account details, transaction history, balance info, weekly and monthly spending summaries from the app.
- Avail a 24/7 Apple Card support by simply sending a text from Messages.
- You would receive a percentage of every Apple Card purchase amount back as Daily Cash. If you purchase something straight from Apple store or avail Apple services, the percentage allotted is 3% Daily Cash and for purchases made from third parties, you would get 2% Daily Cash credited to your Apple Cash Card. This can be used right away for further purchases using Apple Pay, send to friends and family via Messages or save it in your Apple Card balance. If you use titanium Apple card, the percentage allowance is 1% Daily Cash.
- Enjoy low-interest rates and no annual, late, international or over-the-limit penalty fees with Apple Card.
- The app would offer different payment options and show you the associated interest rates so that you could take an informed decision. You could also schedule frequent payments.
- Your data is stored, encrypted and secured using biometric scans, specialized chips, and one-time unique dynamic security code. Apple claims that even they won’t know your financial data and details due to these measures. The company even claims the security of using their titanium card. Lack of any card number, CVV security code, expiration date or signature on the card, apparently makes it more secure than physical cards.
- Apple has partnered with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard to issue the global banking and payments network.
- Apple Card will be available to qualified customers in the US this summer.
Apple News+ Subscription service
Next up, Apple has introduced Apple News Plus subscription service to access over 300 publications, leading newspapers and digital publishers within the Apple News app. This would be similar to Google Newsstand. This offers cross-platform access from your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The premium users would get personalized suggestions and curated recommendations from the in-built app intelligence. Apple yet again bets on the security and privacy of your data.
Initially, the service would be available to US, Canada, UK, and Australia customers. If you’re from the US or Canada, you could start your free first-month trial starting today. Thereafter, it would auto-renew for $9.99 a month in the US and for $12.99 in Canada.
Apple Arcade Gaming Subscription Service
Apple Arcade, as evident from its moniker, is Apple’s ad-free subscription based gaming service. You could access more than 100 games exclusive or new to Apple. Exclusive means that they won’t be available as paid games on the iOS store. You could download the games and enjoy the cross-platform support, meaning pause on one device and resume on another.
It will be available in 150 countries, this fall. The pricing is not revealed yet.
The tech giant aims to take on Netflix and the likes with Apple TV+ subscription service.
Apple TV+ features are:
- The existing Apple TV platform has been redesigned and updated for a galore of shows and movies from cable TV and streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime and Hulu.
- You could experience an ad-free, on-demand, exclusive content including original shows, movies, and documentaries via the Apple TV+.
- This would roll out in over 100 countries with a free software update this May and to Mac this fall. The pricing isn’t declared yet.
- Through Family Sharing, you would be able to share Apple TV+ and subscriptions to Apple TV channels.
- The Apple TV app will also be available on Samsung smart TVs beginning this spring and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future.
Apple takes new strides with a focus on service, especially considering its partnership with competitors like Samsung and Amazon.
Like Microsoft, another tech behemoth which diverted its business to services from Hardware, Apple is also taking a similar route. Revenue from its current cash cow, i.e. iPhones, seems to have hit its brim in 2018, and this could be pointed as one of the cause for this shift.