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Apple has a lot to prove with its new subscription services



I knew that Apple had lost me when the lights came out of total darkness for the tenth time when Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard were discovered.

I knew the exercise at the time when they appeared: Instead of actually showing something at an event called "It's Show Time," the actors would describe their television program. However, since the TV program was about a post-apocalyptic world where everyone went blind, Momoa said, "Please close your eyes. Only for a moment. Just close it. I want you to experience something. Try to think about the world in this way.

Although no one intended to close their eyes and envision a future world, it was a fitting metaphor for almost all Apple announcements. None of these new services except Apple News Plus is still available. That's not what Apple usually does. It is known to announce a new product and then ship it immediately ̵

1; or at least within a week.

Why did not Apple wait until Apple released more or at least showed? At the end of the keynote, it created a strange mood. What can come closest to a consensus on Apple's event is that it was "weird."

So I have an honest question: why are you holding the event this week before everything is done? I have some ideas.

You just have to create a hype for the products that will be released later this year. But if that's the goal, I still do not know how to judge success. (Although I do not want to claim that no real previews or trailers of these shows are released, this is not a good start.) The best part of the keynote was absolutely the section on Apple Arcade, in which we saw a lot more about the games we could expect and understood how they would understand it to work and why we might want it – but also no pricing.

Another is to give us details about these long-praised projects. However, it did not tell us the most important detail: Apple was worryingly quiet, which would cost Apple TV Plus. Even quieter was whether he would offer bundle discounts for the roughly half a dozen Apple services that you can subscribe to at the end of the year. And these discounts will be important: if you pay only $ 10 per month for each Apple service, you may receive $ 600 a year because you can live in Apple World without bundle pricing.


One last reason to keep the announcement now is the order In order to launch services like Apple TV Plus and the Apple Card, the company needs to do a lot of public marketing, and it wanted to be completely open at first. That's probably true – even though each television program had already been announced with a press release and the others were rumored to be open secrets – it's not a good reason to hold an event for consumers.

Most importantly, everyone has talked about how important subscriptions services are to Apple's businesses, but I do not care how much money Apple earns (and earn enough to continue to make good products). You should not, unless you are a major shareholder.

Instead, you should take care of which products Apple manufactures and what those products contribute to our culture. When it comes to judging these products and their impact on our culture, we have to wait for them to be delivered.

It's easy to say that it's hard to wait for new products (it's a bit of it). but go back to that original question. Why did Apple hold an event this week? Did the company tell you as a consumer why you should take care of the things that were announced?

The best answer I can find is this: Apple has a big impact on technology and culture, and Apple is trying to say a new story about what it is and what it does. You should take care of it, because the story that Apple tells and tells us has a real impact on the products it makes and their impact on the culture.

So yes, Apple now offers subscription services. But if the whole story is, "Apple can make more money now that iPhone sales have reached a plateau," none of that matters or does not change anything.


The idealistic reading says that this event was about bringing in a different idea behind all these subscriptions: privacy. It's not easy to develop a hype, but it's important. Is it important to give Apple even more of your digital life? I'm less sure I'm not sure if the slide above really is a coherent narrative of what kind of business Apple wants to be.

Tim Cook ended the keynote, as he often does, by saying, "At Apple, the customer is and will remain the center of everything we do." I just did not feel that philosophy for the event applies itself.

In a previous life I was TA at a university and taught a lot of freshman composition. Whenever a student dropped an essay that led to a dictionary definition of a word, I groaned audibly, knowing that I wanted a slog. It is the classic sign of a paper that pretends to be deeper and more enlightening than it actually is. And it always resulted in a lengthy process in which I struggled to help students clarify their ideas, to say something truly original, something that really differs from what has been said or done a thousand times before has been.

Here is one of the first slides to appear in Apple's Keynote:



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