In just a couple of years, Apple has grown its services business from iTunes and the App Store, to a catalogue including Music, Arcade, News+ and TV+, each requiring a monthly payment.
Ever since these services went live, attention turned to the possibility of Apple offering a discount by bundling everything together into one monthly payment. Back in 2019 it was reported Apple had been in talks with music producers and publishers about bundling content together.
Now, mentions of such a bundle have been discovered in the latest iOS beta, 13.5.5, which was released to developers this week.
Spotted in the beta's code by 9to5Mac are files that include references to "bundle offer" and "bundle subscription" that weren't present in any previous version of iOS. The files were discovered in a part of iOS that relates to the "management system of Apple's own services subscriptions like Apple News+," the website reports.
Their sudden appearance suggests Apple is close to offering a bundle of its digital services, or is at least at the stage where it needs to test internally how subscribing to a bundle might work.
News+ is one of the services that could be bundled into one paymentApple
The big question is, how much would you pay for a bundle of Apple's digital services?
Currently, Apple Music and News+ both cost $9.99 a month, and Apple TV+ and Arcade each cost $4.99. That makes a total of $30 a month for Apple's digital services, before you include iCloud storage and any payments towards an iPhone.
We feel $24.99 would be close to the mark, which could be seen as subscribing customers to every service, while throwing in TV+ for free.
No matter what Apple charges, another key component here is locking customers more deeply into its ecosystem. From there, they are likely to stick with Apple for the foreseeable future, and even invest in more hardware to consume these services on, which still accounts for the majority of Apple's revenue.