Apple rolls out virtual fitness service, subscription bundle, catering to pandemic work-from-home

Apple

Apple rolled out a brand new virtual fitness service and a bundle of all its subscribers, Apple One, focusing a holiday-season product launch on solutions that are the backbone of Apple’s growth strategy which appeal to customers working at home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apple also introduced a new Apple Watch Series 6 that monitors blood oxygen and will cost $399 and a more basic Apple Watch SE for $279.

However, the bevy of incremental upgrades to existing subscription and hardware price tinkering disappointed investors, together with Apple stocks closing up 0.2%.

The Apple One package will charge $15 per month for an individual plan or $20 per month for a family plan and include tv, music and games. Apple is also offering a bundle for $30 per month that provides news, the fitness service and more storage.

NO-BRAINER

“It’s a lot more aggressive pricing than I thought,” said Ben Bajarin, principal analyst for consumer marketplace intelligence at research company Creative Strategies, adding that Apple customers already paying $15 per month for family plans to some of the organisation’s content servers would likely locate the most significant bundle a “no-brainer.”

Apple’s top streaming music competition Spotify Technology criticised the package, saying Apple was abusing its dominant market position to prefer Apple Music. Spotify, which is pursuing an antitrust case against Apple from the European Union and has spoken with US authorities probing the iPhone maker, costs $10 a month due to its streaming service that competes with Apple but won’t be eligible to get Apple’s package.

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In a statement responding to Spotify’s criticism, Apple said the bundle was aimed at existing users of its services and that”customers can discover and enjoy alternatives to every one of Apple’s services.”

Apple said both brand new watches and a new eighth-generation iPad can be pre-ordered starting Tuesday and will soon be available on Friday. Apple also introduced the Apple Fitness+ service, powered by its watches, that will deliver virtual workouts for $10 per month or $80 annually and also be available before the end of the year.

Apple’s fitness agency places it in tighter competition with Peloton Interactive, which makes connected exercise gear and sells subscriptions to internet physical fitness classes. Apple said that many of its workouts were created to be performed with either no gear or minimum equipment such as a pair of dumbbells. Peloton’s workouts typically require either a bike or a treadmill. Worth noting that shares of Peloton closed up 4%.

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The ability of the Apple Watch to track blood oxygen attempts to beat an identical feature already on watches from rival Fitbit Inc, which Alphabet Inc’s Google is purchasing for about $ 2.1 billion. Apple said its view will have the ability to take total blood oxygen dimensions on-demand while the user remains, whilst Fitbit’s apparatus currently show either variations in blood glucose levels or a set of measurements taken while the user is sleeping.

Apple also for the first time offered a means to use an Apple Watch without pairing it off with an iPhone, offering what it calls “Family Setup.”

FASTER IPAD CHIP

Apple added a faster chip into its base model iPad, which it priced at $329 for consumers and $299 for education customers. Apple’s new iPad Air will cost $599 and seem more like its iPad Pro models and a brand new A14 processor chip that Apple says will be the first to utilise a 5-nanometer chip production process.

An update of Apple’s biggest seller – the iPhone – will probably be announced next month later executives have stated its launch will be delayed by several weeks because of pandemic-related disruptions.

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Apple said influenza researchers in Washington state will examine heart rate and blood flow data from Apple Watch for potential early signs of respiratory ailments like flu and COVID-19.

Physicians in India and other nations have used pulse oximeters to remotely check on coronavirus patients and ensure their oxygen equilibrium level doesn’t fall too low.

Apple stocks gave up gains to trade flat on Tuesday after climbing over 50% for the year, well ahead of the 23% gain for the Nasdaq. Though Apple stock has dropped from a record high earlier this month, it remains close to a $2-trillion stock market valuation.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco. Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Nick Zieminski.

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