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Apple Just Revealed Whether More Discounted Bundle Services Are Coming

October 30, 2019, 11:12 PM UTC

Apple’s push into services is getting expensive for its most loyal customers. There’s $10 per month for Apple Music, $10 for Apple News, and $5 for Apple Arcade along with other optional paid services like iCloud storage and AppleCare extended warranties, which are now available for a monthly fee.

On Friday, Apple adds another subscription—Apple TV Plus for $5 monthly.

Last month, Apple announced that anyone who bought a new iPhone, iPad, or one of its other devices would get a year of Apple TV Plus for free. That sparked hopes that Apple may be considering a more comprehensive bundle that would let its best customers save money by giving them access to multiple services under one umbrella subscription.

On Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook squashed those hopes. The Apple TV Plus offer was more of a one-time thing, he said on a call with analysts.

“With TV Plus, we concluded that a great way to get more people to see the content,” he explained. But he added that “it’s not part of a broader pattern, although I wouldn’t want to rule out for the future that we might not see another opportunity at some point in time.”

Cook’s remarks came as Apple reported earnings for its quarter ending Sept. 28. Apple had $64 billion in sales, up 2% from a year earlier, and net income per share of $3.03, up 4%.

Both figures were slightly better than Wall Street analysts had expected, helping to lift Apple’s stock price 2% to $247.70 in after-hours trading.

While Cook shot down the possibility of additional service bundles in the near future, he did say that he thinks more Apple customers would sign up for the company’s automatic iPhone upgrade program, which he called “hardware as a service.” Under the current program, for example, customers can get a new iPhone 11, which usually costs $700, with AppleCare coverage starting at $35 monthly. After a year, such customers are guaranteed the equivalent brand new iPhone in 2020 with a trade-in of this year’s device.

“We’re cognizant that there are lots of users out there that want a recurring payment like that and the receipt of new products on some sort of standard basis, he said. “And we’re committed to make that easier to do than perhaps it is today.”

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