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Apple's reinvention as a service company starts for real Monday



Tim Cook (Bloomberg pic)

SAN FRANCISCO: When Apple Inc manager Tim Cook takes the stage at Steve Jobs Theater in Silicon Valley on Monday, he will launch a new era for the world's largest technology company. 19659003] The CEO is expected to reveal streaming video and news subscriptions, key elements of Apple's push to transform into a leading provider of digital services.

The company can even discuss a monthly video game subscription. Probably absent: Any new versions of the gadgets that have helped Apple generate hundreds of billions of dollars in profits since 1976.

It is a particular challenge for Cook who took over when Jobs died in 2011. The current CEO is an expert in hardware supply chains who have been using the years to awaken keen component manufacturers in Asia to unite the company's offensive iPhone.

Apple's Newer Partners – Hollywood Studios, Movie Stars, Newspapers and Magazines – are more cautious about working with tech giants or have already partnered with rivals like Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

"This is a crucial shift for Apple, and in our opinion, the biggest strategic move since the iPhone was unveiled in 2007," said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. "There is massive pressure on Cook and Apple to provide services where streaming content is a potential growth potential."

Apple's three major hardware markets – smartphones, PCs, and tablets – stagnate.

To continue to grow, the Company has tried to sell its existing device owners, such as Apple Music subscriptions, iCloud storage, and AppleCare warranties.

On Monday, Apple will add video and news subscriptions and be able to reveal a similar credit card offer. [19659003] The company can also discuss combining all of these digital services into a single package similar to Amazon's popular Prime program. Apple has already discussed the possibility of discounts for users who subscribe to more than one service.

The room itself indicates the importance of the event to Apple.

The company has only used Steve Jobs Theater at its new headquarters twice since it opened two years ago. The first time Apple debuted the iPhone X.

Second time, it launched the iPhone XS and latest Apple Watch. To ensure all attention will be on services, Apple took the rare step of announcing more new hardware products on its website last week, including upgraded AirPods, iPads and iMacs.

Unlike the iPhone in 2007 that broke new, Apple's video service was facing fierce competition from well-established players.

Netflix, Amazon, Walt Disney Co., Hulu and AT & T Inc are investing at least $ 20 billion a year while Apple spends about $ 1 billion this year, according to Ives.

He believes that Apple should acquire a larger video content, even though the iPhone manufacturer has rejected major offers in the past.

There is still a base of at least 1.4 billion active Apple devices, giving the Company an advantage over rivals like Netflix.

The Apple video service will be tied to a TV app that is already pre-installed on Apple devices, putting the company's content at the heart of hundreds of millions of potential viewers such as

Apple Music and Apple's App Store has already enjoyed being standard features of iPhones and other gadgets made by the company. Service revenue reached nearly $ 11 billion in the holiday quarter, up 19% from the previous year.

"If Apple is running at minimal speed and aggressively acquiring content, given the company's massive installed base and unbeatable brand loyalty, we believe that achieving 100 million medium-term subscriptions (3 to 5 years) is a realistic, translable goal. to an annual revenue flow of $ 7 billion to $ 10 billion annually, "writes Ives in a new message to investors.

Apple is also working on a premium gaming subscription to his App Store and discussing it with potential partners, according to people with knowledge of the plans.

This service will not take on new cloud-based streaming offers like Google Stages. Instead, it will focus on iPhones and iPads and bundle paid games from different developers that consumers can access monthly fees.

Cheddar previously reported that Apple was working on a game-related subscription service.

The company would collect these monthly fees and then divide the revenue between developers based on how much time users spend playing their games, one of the people said.

Apple is probably considering popular paid titles on the App Store and excludes free download titles but generates revenue through app purchases.

Apple could discuss the service as soon as Monday, or it might choose to specify the offer at the developer conference later this year.

Some of the most popular paid games on the App Store include Microsoft-owned Minecraft and franchises such as NBA 2K and Grand Theft Auto.

Apple shares have risen more than 10% in March to a four-month high ahead of Monday's event. Here's what to watch for:

Apple Video:
The service will focus on original content, including television shows and films from producers such as Damien Chazelle, M. Night Shyamalan and Oprah.

There are documentaries such as "Elephant Queen" and animations like "Wolfwalkers" by Oscar nominated Studio Cartoon Saloon along with a re-appearance of "Amazing Stories" by Steven Spielberg and a drama with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

An important unanswered question: Will the company keep its flow creations exclusively for Apple devices or release them on Android phones and other distribution channels? Apple's original content will start rolling out towards the end of the year.

An important component will be a feature to tap into bundles of content from providers such as HBO, Starz and Showtime – similar to Amazon's channels. Netflix and Hulu will not be involved.

Apple has great ambitions for the service and employs people with experience in promoting films and TV shows at prices, including Emmys and Oscars.

Apple News: [19659031] This service combines stories from newspapers, websites and magazines into a new tab in the Apple News app on iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Apple plans to charge approx. $ 10 a month. The service comes as part of an upcoming iOS 12.2 software update, which also includes a redesigned icon and interface for the Apple News app.

The New York Times and Washington Post are not part of the service, but The Wall Street Journal and Vox will attend. Apple based the service on Texture, an app it acquired last year.

Texture allows users to subscribe to more than 200 magazines, and most will transfer to Apple's new service. (Bloomberg Business Week and Bloomberg Markets are currently part of Texture).

Goldman partnership
Apple and Goldman Sachs Group Inc are working on a common credit card attached to the iPhone and Apple Pay app.

Goldman CEO David Salomon plans to attend Monday's event, suggesting that the partnership will either be announced or an agreement is near.

Apple's iOS 12.2 update will include a new Wallet app that forms the basis of the Goldman credit card. The card will support new virtual rewards and tracking systems to encourage timely payments.


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