iOS 13.5.5 beta hints at possible Apple services bundle

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Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+
Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and Apple News+ could all be part of 'Apple Prime.'
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple seemingly hasn’t abandoned its possible plans for an “Apple Prime” service that combines all its subscriptions into one single package. In a report published late Wednesday, 9to5Mac discovered references in the iOS 13.5.5 beta code to a “bundle offer” and “bundle subscription” that didn’t previously exist.

The idea could be to offer a services bundle combination of Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple TV+ and, potentially, Apple Arcade, at a lower price than buying each individually. Whether it happens, of course, is another matter entirely.

Apple has reportedly been considering such a services bundle for some time now. Analysts, who believe that services could ultimately make Apple into a $2 trillion company, are also excited by it. “We think Apple should launch a subscription bundle as a way to reinforce iPhone loyalty and leverage it into content,” observed Goldman Sachs analysts in October 2018.

However, more recent news poured cold water on the rumors. An article in the Financial Times suggested that Apple has signed multi-year licensing agreements with Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music. These publishers are said to not be so keen on a package deal because it could reduce the amount of money paid to music creators.

Apple’s services division

Apple is fairly cagey when it comes to revealing subscriber numbers for its services. In June — the last time Apple revealed sub numbers — Apple Music had 60 million paid subscribers. The company has never said how many people subscribe to Apple Arcade, Apple News+ or Apple TV+. However, they are all far below Apple Music’s numbers. Apple TV+ reportedly has in the vicinity of 10 million subscribers — although around half of these are on Apple’s free trial. Apple News+ and Apple Arcade haven’t exactly made enormous waves, either.

It’s therefore not clear how much of a boost Apple would expect to see if it lumped them all into one giant bundle. From the sound of things, Apple’s not ruling the idea out, though.

How much would you be willing to spend on an Apple Prime bundle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.