Opinion: Why Apple may plan a services-focused event
Based on a series of circumstances, I think Apple may be planning an event focused on Apple Services in March, as it drives to support adoption of TV+, Apple Arcade and Apple Music. This is why I think this:
Why Apple may plan a Services event
Here’s my evidence, some based on rumor/speculation:
- Leaker Jon Prosser has told us to expect a Mac launch in November 2020, warning us that there will then be no subsequent Apple event until March 2021, when it will introduce AirPods Studio.
- We’ve been told (again, by Prosser) not to expect a new Apple TV model, equipped with an A14 processor, until next year.
- Apple recently began extending people’s free Apple TV+ subscriptions into February.
- Like most media companies, Applehad to suspend filming for months this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so has been unable to generate as much TV+ content as it likely intended to have produced by now.
- At the same time, the company has secured the services of multiple big names, making it clear that it is committed to a content-driven push.
What follows is a narrative based on those points that I think makes sense as an approach. Equally, Apple frequently uses the March event to focus on education-related products — thought this could be way more fun.
The story as I see it
What Apple Wants: Apple likes to push the media at its new products. It also likes to generate services income, and given that by March iPhone sales are likely to have slowed a little it will want to generate interest in its other business strands to maintain its bottom line.
Making patterns: If Apple holds an event to introduce AirPods Studio in March, it will be pushing a product that is music-focused. What else is music focused? Apple Music. And if the company intends discussing Apple Music then why wouldn’t it want to make time for its other services?
The need to keep subscribers: It will want to really begin pushing people to sign up for additional subscriptions to its services by then, and will certainly want to convince those existing subscribers to stick around, which it can achieve by increasing the content library and introducing some shows people will really want to see. (Don’t ignore that Apple recently extended the subscription period into February, which suggests an early March event so they get the chance to extend those subs). See 2, Ted Lasso 2 and Dickinson 2 will likely help convince people, as will Foundation, which the company is expected to begin streaming in 2021.
The hardware piece(s): And, if you’re about to make a push based on TV content, what’s better for Apple TV content than a new Apple TV equipped with a faster processor capable of console-class gaming? Which then raises the opportunity for a focus on Apple Arcade.
The conclusion and opportunity: So, we now have a pretty big event, focused on services, accompanied by new hardware products and a really great opportunity for one of those ‘One More Thing’ announcements the company enjoys delivering from time-to-time.
I could be wrong – I’ve said as much since the beginning of this piece – but it’s hard to ignore the growing momentum that’s gathering around this side of Apple’s business and the story it has to tell.
This series of steps would work well to increase buzz and foster accessory and services sales into the company’s traditionally weakest quarters. It would also work well to help push the company’s education sales, with new iPads and iMac launches.