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Here’s Everything People Are Saying About Apple’s Event And The Services It Announced

Dan Almasi

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In an effort to provide a comprehensive understanding of Apple’s recent keynote event––wherein Apple unveiled five new products, flew in a slew of celebrities, and decorated it all in lots of pomp and circumstance––Minutes has assembled a wealth of relevant perspectives via tweets, editorials, and more.

Lots of conflicting analysis. Many differing opinions. One article detailing it all.

An overview

  • In general, analysts are skeptical about Apple’s products, and pundits felt the event was a drawn-out celebrity circus lacking real information.
  • Weighing in on Apple’s announcements, Warren Buffett expressed skepticism about Apple’s plans, but supported the overall idea, saying “Apple should do some things that don’t work” in an interview with CNBC.
  • In a reaction video, CNET editors said while the flashy event piqued interest, we still “don’t know how all the pieces fit together” and that all we know about Apple TV+ is that it’s “kind of like Netflix.”
  • Geoffrey A. Fowler of the Washington Post says the new apps “look slick but aren’t a slam dunk.” He wants to know more—especially how much each service will cost—before coming to any conclusions.  
  • Jeff John Roberts, Fortune law & tech reporter, questioned Apple’s big move. He said, “I think Apple’s making a mistake here. If this was five years ago, I think it would’ve been a smart move. This time, Apple’s too late. The company’s got a bunch of other problems they’ve got to attend to … Jumping into [the streaming industry] is a big distraction.”  

A correction to the above tweet: Apple did not announce Apple TV, which was released in 2016. They announced Apple TV Plus and Apple TV Channels.

The Apple event

A quick look:

  • Took place on March 25 at The Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California
  • Featured a James Bond movie-esque intro, lots of sexy product teaser videos, and much celebrity fanfare—but provided very little actual information
  • Keynote can be watched here

Perspective:

  • Google Ventures partner M.G. Siegler called the event “the weirdest he’s ever seen,” “silly,” “far, far, far, far too long,” and “mildly pathetic.” Essentially, he called out Apple for a lack of focus on tech and info in favor of entertainment in A Billion Pockets, Y’all.
  • AppleInsider called Siegler’s piece “mean cynicism” but admitted the event was “unusual.” Ultimately, AI decided the tech giant’s plans to find solutions at the intersection of hardware, software, and content would’ve been “right up Steve Jobs’ alley” in Editorial: Steve Jobs would have been proud of Tim Cook’s Apple News & Apple TV event.
  • The New York Times also noted Apple failed to provide ample information about its new services and called the onstage fanfare “charm-and-dazzle” in Hollywood Has Questions. Apple Didn’t Answer Them.
  • A The Guardian review said the service release marks a “new era” for Apple but called the actual event “unending fluff about storytelling,” and continued “the fun stuff was preceded by an hour-long infomercial.”  
  • Apple’s stock fell 1.5% during the event.

Apple TV+ and Apple TV Channels

A quick look:

  • Both products will be extensions of Apple TV, released in 2016.
  • Both will be available on Apple Devices, select smart TVs, and TV devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick.
  • Both will be ad-free subscription services.
  • Apple plans to spend about $2 billion on original content out of the gate. Netflix spent $12 billion last year.
  • Unlike competitors, Apple TV+ will attempt to steer clear of sex- and violence-heavy programming.
  • Apple has committed to producing 30 shows and a handful of movies for Apple TV+.
  • Channels will allow users to subscribe to partner services like HBO, Showtime, Starz, and more, potentially at discounted prices.
  • Prices and more lineup info will be released this fall.

Perspective:

  • The Hollywood Reporter says Apple’s intent isn’t to compete with Netflix, as most assume, but rather to continue the cord-cutting cable takedown in Apple’s Hollywood Plan Becomes Clear: The “Cable Box of Streaming.”
  • Wired says Apple’s $2 billion streaming industry buy-in is a “too little, too late impulse buy,” and is especially stingy given its $245 billion budget. They also say Apple’s intent likely isn’t to dethrone Netflix or Amazon but to “bring more of its users inside the walled garden.”
  • Wall Street Journal says the American streaming service market is a complicated, intertwined competition consisting of five distinct races to the top.
  • AppleInsider says to compare Apple TV+ to Netflix is “wrong” and that “Apple Arcade is more like Netflix for gaming than Apple TV+ is like Netflix for video.”
  • eMarketer Paul Verna isn’t confident in Apple’s ability to overtake Netflix (if that’s even what they’re out to accomplish). He told Associated Press: “Apple is very late to this game. Netflix has become the gold standard in how to create and distribute content, using all the data they have about their viewers.”
  • CNet notes Apple TV Channels is likely a direct competitor to Amazon Prime Channels.

The Apple Card

A quick look:

  • Unique features include a “more detailed version of transaction history that integrates with Apple Maps.”
  • Apple promises the lowest interest rate in the industry, no annual or late fees, and that no personal data collected by the card will be used for marketing purposes.
  • The card is fully integrated with and must be connected to an iPhone.
  • As far as design goes, the card is made of titanium and is quite sleek without a card number, CVV, expiration date or signature on the card itself (all that info is stored in Apple’s Wallet app).
  • Operated by Goldman Sachs
  • Will be released this summer

Perspective:

  • “The true highlight was the Apple Card,” says Born2Invest’s Anne Kings, calling its announcement “the most innovative news” of the event.
  • Fowler of WaPo says the card “sounds like a good deal” but is “hardly a budget saver.”
  • iMore says the Apple Card should come with AppleCare+, but likely won’t.

Apple News

A quick look:

  • Fully released
  • At $9.99 per month, your first month free, and free family sharing, Apple News+ grants access to over 300 magazines and digital content sources including Time, National Geographic, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, ESPN, and more.
  • Collectively, subscriptions to all accessible platforms would cost about $8,000 per month.
  • 200,000 users signed up for a free one-month trial in the first 48 hours of its release, according to the New York Times.
  • Apple failed to get The Washington Post and New York Times onboard, with NYT warning other publishers against partnering with Apple News.

Perspective:

  • An editor at Macworld used Apple News+ for a week and found four things he hates about it including search difficulties, poorly formatted articles, the inability to manually delete downloaded magazines, and the fact that it doesn’t replace the need for many other magazine and news subscriptions.
  • The Verge says the search tool is easy to use, but points out that Apple News+ doesn’t offer much hard news and gives a poor review of its user interface and reading experience in One Week With Apple News Plus.
  • From a publishing standpoint, tech and media journalist Simon Owens argues Apple News+ “won’t cannibalize publishers’ paid subscriptions”—a worry of many in the industry.

Apple Arcade

A quick look:

  • Ad-free; subscription-based
  • Will initially feature over 100 games playable on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs
  • Will be released this fall in over 150 countries
  • Price TBA

Perspective:

  • Android Authority says it could see “some users move away from Android to sample the delights of Apple’s latest entertainment service,” that Apple could steal Android game developers, and that “the biggest worry for Android fans is that Apple may simply become the home of better games.”
  • Given Apple’s interest in innovation and continued investment in the AR/VR space, ComputerWorld wonders if Apple Arcade could soon become an “AR-based gaming platform in which subscribers can enjoy truly immersive games.”
  • PCMag says Apple Arcade and other subscription gaming services, like Google’s upcoming Stadia, “have the potential to solve one of the most annoying problems in mobile gaming, which is the horrible infection of in-app purchases and nickel-and-diming.”

Writer, freelance journo based in Buffalo, NY. Social issues, media, business, interesting observations.

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