Apple bundling all of its cloud, TV, music and game services into one bundle has been rumored for years. With the release of “Apple One,” Apple has put the long-anticipated rumor mill to bed. However, is it a good deal? It looks to be a great deal on paper, especially for anyone who subscribes to Apple Music or Apple Arcade. The real question is whether Apple One means we are paying for more than is needed or wanted? Let’s dive into Apple’s new bundle of services and see whether or not this deal is too good to be true.
What Do Apple Services Cost Individually?
First things first. Let’s have a reminder of what Apple charges individually for each of its monthly services:
- Apple Music costs $9.99 for individuals and $14.99 for families.
- iCloud costs $0.99 for 50GB, $2.99 for 200GB and $9.99 for 2TB.
- Apple TV costs $4.99.
- Apple Arcade costs $4.99 for over 120 games.
- Apple News costs $9.99.
- Apple Fitness+ (available later this year) will cost $9.99 a month.
Each of these services can be purchased separately, and you have the choice of subscribing to as many or as few as you like. What does that mean for people who want to subscribe to Apple One and believe they could save a little money? Let’s find out.
What Bundle Plans Are Available?
There are three plans available for Apple One, the first of which is the individual plan. This bundle costs $14.95 a month and includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and 50GB of iCloud storage. If you were to purchase each of these separately, they would be right around $21 a month, saving you $6 monthly. This plan is the backbone of the Apple One entertainment lineup.
For anyone who subscribes to Apple Music and at least one of the other services, it’s a good deal. If you already subscribe to all four Apple services, this can be a nice monthly savings, good for at least one more cup of Starbucks each month. The only real caveat with the individual plan is that you cannot share Apple Music or iCloud storage with family members.
The family plan is when things get a little more interesting. The biggest difference is that for $19.95, you get 200GB of iCloud storage and you are upgraded to the Apple Music family plan (which alone is $14.95). Add in Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade and you are looking at savings of $8 monthly. For an extra $5 a month, you get hours of new shows with Apple TV+ and more than 100 games through Apple Arcade.
If you do not need either of those services, things get a little more murky. The 200GB of storage for a family can be a huge help, especially given that Apple only offers 5GB of iCloud Storage out of the box. The bottom line is that you should only get a family plan if at least one person in your house regularly uses Apple TV+ or Apple Arcade. If not, you do not need the bundle and would save nothing with Apple Music or the upgraded iCloud Storage plan.
If you and your family are in the bucket of wanting every subscription Apple has to offer, the Premier plan is for you. With this $29.95 plan, you receive 2TB of iCloud storage, Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+ when it launches later this year. If you do some quick math, subscribing to all of these services individually would cost you around $55 a month. At that point, saving $25 monthly becomes a bit more desirable. Of course, that’s only if you want to use everything Apple has to offer.
What if you do not want Apple News+ or Fitness+? In that case, you’d be better off with the Apple One Family plan but again, only if you want everything else in the Family plan. On the other hand, once Fitness+ launches and you add it to the bundle, the Premier plan turns into a pretty comprehensive offering. That all of these services can be shared with up to five people in your family makes it an even more attractive bundle.
The Bottom Line
So far so good, right? Everything about Apple One sounds like a savings, and that’s exactly what Apple wants you to think. In a lot of cases, it actually will save you money. Or will it? The reality is that Apple One may have you spending more to get extra services you may not have subscribed to individually. Ultimately, the value here is really dependent on what you are currently using and how many people are in your family. The Premier plan is the most expensive but also offers the most services with the best savings.
If you use a lot of iCloud storage, already subscribe to Apple Music and have been thinking about Apple Arcade, the bundle may make a lot of sense. On the other hand, if you only want to stay subscribed to Apple Music, you can do exactly that. There is nothing that says you have to subscribe to any bundle other than to stop yourself from paying more for each service individually. Ultimately, if you pay more than $30 for your subscription services, Premier is a good deal. Similar reasoning applies to the Family and Individual plans.
David Beren is a freelance tech writer with over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves dogs, his kids and all things Nintendo.
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