Apple still 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 so it felt like the tenth time in revealing Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard.

He knew the exercise at the time they appeared: instead of showing something actually in something in an event called "It Show Show", the actors would describe his program of TV. But since the television show was about a post-apocalyptic world where everyone has gone blind, Momoa said: "Please close your eyes, just for a moment, just close them, I want you to experience something." Try to think about the world in this way. "

Although no one tried, closing their eyes and imagining a future world was a suitable metaphor for almost all Apple ads, none of these new services, except Apple News Plus, is available yet. just like Apple usually does things, it is famous for announcing a new product and then sending it immediately, or at least within a week.

Why Apple did not wait until it had more to launch, or at least more for show ? He made a strange feeling at the end of the keynote.The closest I can find to a consensus about the Apple event is that was "weird".

So I have an honest question: why cel Open the event this week, before everything was ready? I have some ideas.

One is to simply create a hype for the products that will be released later this year. But if that is the goal, I'm still not sure how to judge success. (Although I will say that not publishing the advances or real advances of these programs is not a great start). The best part of the main speech was absolutely the Apple Arcade section, where we saw much more about the games we could expect and we understood how. It would work and why we might want it, but again, there are no prices.

Another is to give us details about these long-standing projects. But he did not tell us the most important detail: the prices. Apple was worried about the issue of how much Apple TV Plus would cost. He was even more silent about whether he would offer package discounts for the half-dozen Apple services that he could subscribe to at the end of the year. And those discounts will be important: only the game of balls in each Apple service at $ 10 / month gives you a potential of $ 600 per year for the privilege of living in Apple World without package prices.


apple still has a lot to prove with its new subscription services

One last reason to celebrate the announcement now is to launch services such as Apple TV Plus and Apple Card, the company needs to start doing a lot of public marketing, and wanted everything to come to light first. It's probably true, even admitting that all the television shows had already been announced with a press release and that the others were rumored to be open secrets, but it's not a good reason to hold an event for consumers.

That's the main thing: everyone has been talking about how important subscription services are for Apple's business, but I do not care how much money Apple makes (beyond enough to continue creating good products). Neither should you, unless you are a major shareholder.

Instead, you should be concerned about the products that Apple is making and what you are adding to our culture through those products. When it comes to judging these products and their effect on our culture, well, we have to wait for them to be sent.

It's easy to say that this is not enough to have to wait for new products (it's a bit of that), but let's 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 worry about the things you announced?

The best answer I can find is this: Apple has a big effect on technology and culture, and Apple is trying to say it. A new story about what it is and what it does. You must worry because the story that Apple tells us and tells itself has real effects on the products it produces and its effect on culture.

So yes, Apple does subscription services now. But if the whole story is simply "Apple can make more money now that iPhone sales have stalled," then none of this really matters or changes anything.


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The idealistic reading is that this event was about injecting another idea behind all those subscriptions: privacy. It is not easy to generate enthusiasm, but it is important. Is it important enough to grant even more of your digital life to Apple's blockade? I'm less sure I'm not sure if the previous slide really adds to a coherent narrative about the kind of company that Apple wants to be.

Tim Cook finished the keynote as he often does by saying: "At Apple, the customer is and will always be at the center of everything we do." I just did not feel that philosophy applied to the event itself.

In a previous life, I was a professor in a university and I taught a lot to the composition of the first year. Every time a student presented an essay that led with a dictionary definition of a word, I would complain audibly because I knew a problem was waiting for me. It is the classic sign of a role that pretends to be deeper and more insightful than it really is. And it always took me to a long edition in which I had to make a great effort to help the student clarify his ideas to say something genuinely original, something really different from what has been said or done a thousand times before.

Here is one of the first slides that appeared on Apple's keynote:


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