Let‘s get this out of the way upfront – no, Apple One itself is not free. However, new subscribers can access limited free trials for the service bundle, which we‘ll cover shortly.
First, what exactly is Apple One? It‘s essentially a packaged deal bundling several Apple subscription services together for a discounted monthly price. Think of it like a cable TV package, but for streaming and Apple products.
Depending on your use of Apple services, Apple One can save you money over individual subscriptions. But it‘s not the cheapest option for everyone, so let‘s dive into the full details.
Apple One Subscription Package Plans Explained
Apple One includes a few different bundle tiers available to subscribers:
- Individual Plan ($16.95/month) – This basic tier includes access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade gaming, and 50GB of iCloud storage.
- Family Plan ($22.95/month) – Ups iCloud storage to 200GB and allows sharing with up to 5 other users.
- Premier Plan ($32.95/month) – Adds Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, and increases iCloud storage further to 2TB, shareable with family.
Below I‘ll break down exactly what you get with each Apple service included in the bundles:
|Apple Music||On-demand streaming access to 90+ million songs, playlists, radio stations, music videos.|
|Apple TV+||Apple‘s video streaming service with a catalog of 100+ exclusive shows, movies and documentaries like Ted Lasso, See, and Mythic Quest.|
|Apple Arcade||iOS gaming subscription with 100+ downloadable games across devices.|
|iCloud Storage||50GB, 200GB or 2TB capacity cloud storage for backing up devices, photos, files.|
|Apple News+||Subscription news app with access to over 300 popular magazines and newspapers.|
|Apple Fitness+||Video workout classes across genres like HIIT, Yoga, Cycling, etc. Require an Apple Watch to fully utilize.|
The more Apple services you regularly use, the more value Apple One offers in bundling them together under one bill. But if you only need one or two, individual plans may work out cheaper.
Limited Free Trial Options
While Apple One itself is not free, new subscribers to services included in the bundle can access free 1-month trials of Apple One to test it out.
According to Apple, here‘s how to qualify for a free trial:
- You must be a new subscriber to any Apple services included in your Apple One plan.
- If you‘ve recently canceled an Apple subscription, you may not be eligible.
- Only one free trial per Apple One bundle is allowed.
For example, if you‘ve never tried Apple Music or Apple TV+ before, you could sign up for the Individual plan and get 1 month of those services free to preview Apple One.
But if you already subscribe to Apple Music and wanted to upgrade to Apple One, you wouldn‘t get a free trial because you aren‘t a new user. In this case, you‘d immediately be charged the plan‘s monthly rate.
The free trial automatically cancels after one month unless you manually renew your Apple One subscription. To avoid being charged, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the free trial period ends.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Should you subscribe to Apple One or not? Here I‘ll break down the key pros and cons based on expert analysis and Apple community feedback:
Potential Benefits of Apple One
|Cost savings compared to individual plans|
Apple says you can save up to $25/month depending on your bundle.
|Consumers who use multiple Apple services can benefit from the discounted bundle pricing versus subscribing separately to each.|
|Convenience of everything bundled together|
Just one subscription to manage rather than multiple.
|Apple One provides a simplified, streamlined way to access a suite of services all in one place.|
|Access to Apple exclusives|
Like original shows/movies on Apple TV+ or iOS games.
|Fans of Apple content get unlimited access as part of the package.|
|Optimized for Apple devices|
Tight integration with iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc.
|Apple One bundles work seamlessly across the Apple ecosystem, as you‘d expect.|
Potential Drawbacks of Apple One
|Lack of flexibility|
Forced to pay for the full bundle even if you only want certain services.
|With individual plans, you can subscribe only to services you actually want. Apple One locks you into the full pack.|
Apple One plans increased $2-$3/month in late 2022.
|While still discounted, the bundle pricing is now higher, reducing potential savings.|
|Harder to cancel|
Must cancel the entire bundle if you want to drop a service.
|With individual plans, you can cancel specific services a la carte without losing others.|
|apple services only|
Doesn‘t integrate other subscriptions like Netflix or Spotify.
|Consumers using a mix of Apple and non-Apple services may find individual plans make more sense.|
Below I‘ll dig deeper into how Apple One stacks up for value, how it works, and who it might appeal to most.
How Popular is Apple One?
While Apple doesn‘t disclose exact subscriber numbers, Apple One appears to be gaining adoption since its 2020 launch. Apple CEO Tim Cook called it "a huge success" in a recent earnings call.
According to market research firm Antenna, nearly 20% of current Apple service subscribers in the US also have Apple One as of January 2022. Their data suggests Apple One has room for continued growth among existing Apple fans as more learn about it.
In terms of streaming market share, Apple TV+ lags far behind rivals like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. But Apple may be playing a long game, using Apple One bundles to lock in subscribers across multiple services, not just TV and movies.
Apple‘s Grand Plan: Ecosystem Loyalty
What‘s the bigger picture strategy here? Apple expert Mark Gurman at Bloomberg argues that Apple One allows Apple to further strengthen its walled garden ecosystem.
By bundling so many services together, often for free or discounted with new Apple device purchases, they create an appealing package that incentivizes consumers to stick with Apple long-term.
Once you‘re accustomed to Apple One, it makes switching to other tech brands harder. You‘d lose seamless access to everything from music, TV and games to cloud backups and news.
For iOS-centric households in particular, Apple One becomes an attractive convenience subscription that just makes sense. The same can be said for devotees of multiple Apple products like the Apple Watch.
But for those operating in a more platform-agnostic way across devices and services, the appeal diminishes.
Comparing Apple One to Other Streaming Services
To evaluate the value of Apple One for you, it helps to see how it compares to competitors like Amazon and Netflix.
While Apple One doesn‘t offer as much on-demand video content, it adds music, gaming, storage, news and workout services. Let‘s look at a quick feature comparison:
|Streaming Service||Monthly Cost||Video Library||Original Content||Music||Mobile Gaming||Cloud Storage||News||Workouts|
|Apple One (Individual Plan)||$16.95||Medium||TV+ Originals||Yes||Yes||50GB||No||No|
|Netflix (Standard Plan)||$15.49||Very Large||Netflix Originals||No||No||No||No||No|
|Amazon Prime Video||$14.99||Large||Amazon Originals||No||No||Photo storage only||No||No|
As you can see, Netflix offers far more on-demand video titles. But Apple One aims to provide wider lifestyle utility by bundling music, games, storage, and other perks lacking in the other two.
Tips to Maximize Apple One Value
If you do opt for Apple One, here are some tips from Apple experts on getting your money‘s worth:
- Take advantage of family sharing – Split costs by linking up to 5 other accounts.
- Use all available iCloud storage – Back up devices and offload photos to preserve local storage space.
- Try Apple Arcade games – Tap into 100+ downloadable iOS titles with no ads or in-app purchases.
- Listen to spatial audio music – Take advantage of immersive Dolby Atmos-powered songs on supported devices.
- Stream Apple TV+ everywhere – View shows on iPhone, iPad, desktop, smart TVs and more.
- Cancel before renewal – Set a reminder to evaluate if Apple One still warrants the price for you when billing comes due each month.
How to Sign Up for Apple One
If you want to give Apple One a test drive, signing up is quick and easy:
- Open the App Store on any Apple device.
- Search for "Apple One".
- Select your preferred bundle and tap "Try it Now".
- Review services included and click "Continue".
- Sign in with your Apple ID and password.
- Enter valid payment information – your card will be charged after any trial ends.
Once subscribed, you‘ll have access to all included apps and services right away. You can cancel and leave Apple One at any time.
Cancelling Apple One or Free Trials
If you want to cancel Apple One or stop a free trial before it ends and payment kicks in, here‘s how:
- Go to iPhone/iPad Settings > [Your Name] > Subscriptions.
- Tap your Apple One subscription under Active.
- Tap Cancel Subscription at the bottom.
This will stop auto-renewal going forward. You‘ll immediately lose bundle access and pricing, reverting to individual service plans.
Make sure to cancel at least 24 hours before any free trial ends if you wish to avoid being charged. You can‘t get a partial refund for the current billing month if you cancel mid-period.
The Bottom Line
So in the end, is Apple One worth it? There‘s no universal answer – it depends on your personal usage. But in general, Apple One makes most sense for:
- Households with multiple Apple devices and services.
- Heavy Apple service users who would spend $15+/month individually anyway.
- People who value Apple exclusives and tight ecosystem integration.
- Those seeking maximum convenience by consolidating subscriptions.
More casual Apple fans or single-service users still may prefer standalone plans for flexibility. Evaluate your own habits and budget to decide if Apple One is a good fit.
I hope this comprehensive guide gave you all the key details on Apple One bundles, pricing, and value to determine if it deserves your money. The free trial period is useful for hands-on testing. Ultimately Apple One offers savings for the right consumer, but isn‘t essential for everyone.