Apple TV+ will be cheaper than established streaming services Netflix and newcomer Disney+.
If you buy a new Apple product, including new iPads, iPhones, laptops or desktops, Apple will throw in a year-long subscription to Apple TV+. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can use one Apple TV+ subscription. If you just subscribe, there is one free week.
Apple‘s annual big reveal in California heralded the new iPhone 11, iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max smartphones, a larger screen for its budget iPad, an always-on Apple Watch and details of the new Apple TV+, which will begin in more than 100 countries and regions on 1 November.
“All of these incredible shows for the price of a single movie rental,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on stage. “This is crazy.”
Apple TV will cost US$4.99 a month, which is two dollars cheaper than Disney+ – which starts on 12 November – and massively undercuts Netflix’s standard service of US$12.99 a month.
“With Apple TV+, we are presenting all-original stories from the best, brightest and most creative minds, and we know viewers will find their new favourite show or movie on our service,” said Zack Van Amburg, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video. “Each Apple TV+ original offers its own unique story, fresh perspective and powerful message — all meant to entertain, connect and inspire cultural conversations.”
While the iPhone accounts for half of Apple’s annual sales, the figures are falling. Apple TV+ offers fresh content and could be crucial if Apple is to double its services revenue to US$50 billion before 2021.
Apple said Apple TV+ will feature at launch the following programs:
- See, a post-apocalypse drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard in which humanity has lost its sense of sight.
- Morning Wars, a drama starring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon about working of morning news shows.
- Dickinson, a dark comedy about a rebellious young poet.
- For All Mankind, a series that imagines what the world would be like if the space race never happened.
- Helpsters, a kids’ show about monsters who help solve problems.
- Snoopy in Space, which is exactly what it sounds like.
- Ghostwriter, in which four kids must release fictional characters from works of literature.
- The Elephant Queen, a documentary following a species on the verge of extinction.
- Conversations between Oprah Winfrey and some of the world’s biggest authors.
New originals will be added each month. Announced projects include a psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan and an exploration of US obsession with true crime podcasts.
Apple TV+ will have a download option for watching its originals offline. In addition, Apple TV+ will be available to watch on competitors’ devices too. Apple’s TV app, which is where you’ll stream Apple TV+ programming, is available on smart TVs from Samsung, and it will become available this year on Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV devices and smart TVs from Sony, LG and Vizio.
In addition to the iPhone 11 launch, Apple also announced details of Apple Arcade. The video game subscription service is launching with iOS 13 on 20 September and will cost US$4.99 per month with a one-month free trial. There will be more than 100 new, exclusive games at launch, with more to be added later, and Apple says none of them contains ads or in-app purchases. Games can be played across iOS, Mac and Apple TV, even if when offline.
The surprise product announcement was a new iPad at the price of the old iPad. The device is a 10.2-inch variant of the company’s tablet, slotting in at the entry level as a replacement for the US$329 9.7-inch iPad. It’s officially the first seventh-generation iPad, Apple VP Greg Joswiak said onstage, and it’s available today starting at US$329. Apple says education customers can purchase the device for US$299.
Finally, the Apple Watch Series 5. The latest model looks the same as Series 4 in terms of design and size. The big new feature this year is an always-on display option so you can see the time without having to move your wrist, something that has been asked for since the Apple Watch launched in 2015. Apple said the Series 5 watch maintains the prior model’s 18-hour battery life, even with the always-on screen. Another new feature is that the screen will be in a low-brightness mode until you move your wrist, where it will switch to full brightness in a similar fashion to how the current model turns on when your wrist is moved. Other new features include a built-in compass, cycle tracking, the Noise app and Activity Trends.
The watch also allows users to complete international calls to emergency services, regardless of where the device was originally purchased or if the cellular plan has been activated. International emergency calling also works with fall detection, if enabled, to automatically place an emergency call if Apple Watch senses the user has taken a hard fall and remains motionless for about a minute.
Pricing for the Series 5 starts at US$399 for GPS model and US$499 for the cellular connected version. It can be ordered from today and in shops from 20 September. Apple is also permanently dropping the price of the Series 3 to US$199, matching the lowest sale price offered on that model The Series 4 2018 model has been discontinued.