Apple’s Services Presentation

Apple presented its service-focused offerings after spending the front half of last week refreshing a number of platforms. While initial responses across the Internet have been mixed, the Apple Card seems like the most sizable win for revenue growth in the face of smartphone market saturation. The cash back rewards when using the service with Apple Pay is fairly attractive. The advances in security, when combined with the ease of use that comes with Apple Pay (where enabled), is a clear demonstration of doing more with less. The randomization features of the CVV ID and actual card number are impressive. It’s certainly not outside of the realm of reality for Google to follow this approach as there are plenty of Android handsets globally which support NFC payment technologies.

The Apple News+ service, which effectively demonstrates what the organization had planned for the Texture acquisition, may not reel in as much services revenue as the company had hoped. While we find the concept appealing and the privacy angle to be admirable, the recognition that not everyone desires access to such content in a paid format is a reality that exists. The one-month trial may not be as generous as the three month trial for Apple Music but it’s enough time to determine if sufficient value is derived from the associated subscription cost.

The Apple Arcade announcement is more akin to Xbox Game Pass than the very recently announced Google Stadia service. The outcry over Diablo Immortal being a mobile-only experience demonstrates that core gamers don’t fully accept mobile devices as being a viable and desired game platform. There are certainly excellent games available under iOS and Android. However, the bulk of the casual gamer space tends to latch on to free-to-play or microtransaction-driven experiences for their Match 3, puzzle or farming fix. The anomalies that various review sites have noted with traditional controller interaction with iOS platforms may make Apple Arcade a non-starter. The verbiage of “console-quality” graphics with the A12X CPU may have been a hint of Apple’s desire to obtain more revenue from gamers. Having the ability to experience titles on a big screen via integrations using AirPlay2 may enhance the value of Apple Arcade. Only time will tell on this one.

Last but not least is the Apple TV+ streaming service which will be available on the Apple TV app on native and non-native platforms may be telling more about the fate of the Apple TV streaming device. If an app that plays well with AirPlay and iTunes shows up on every competing and complementary platform, how long will it be until the Apple TV 4K goes the way of all things Apple AirPort? The naming of the service was a larger miss in our minds. Better alternatives for the service name could have been:

  • Apple Vision
  • Apple iWatch
  • Apple iVue

These are just a few options which would stem confusion between services and devices.

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