Apple One bundles all of the company’s services into one monthly payment. But is that good business? Let’s take a look! You can probably save some money by creating your own bundle and avoiding Apple’s less popular services.
What’s in Apple One?
Apple One includes services like iCloud, Apple Music, Apple TV +, Apple Arcade, and (if you’re in Premier class) Apple News + and Apple Fitness +.
The Individual and Family plans are $ 14.95 and $ 19.95 per month, respectively, while the Premier plan reimburses you $ 29.95. In terms of value, the individual plan saves $ 6.01 per month while the family plan saves $ 7.97. The Premier Plan is the best deal. It’s roughly half the price of any bundled service when purchased separately – a $ 24.95 savings.
There is a lot on paper. However, there is a chance that you won’t save a lot if you factor in the services that you are not yet using or that you do not want to use.
Apple Arcade, for example, wasn’t quite as successful as Apple had hoped. Apple TV +, meanwhile, is backed by the free annual subscriptions the company hands out with eligible purchases.
Deals look less budget friendly when you factor in the unused services that you are paying for. When you’re considering switching from other platforms that you’re using for the same cost (e.g. from Spotify to Apple Music), business seems less of an opportunity and more like a headache.
But how much could you save if you bundled only the services you needed and left the Apple ecosystem when needed?
CONNECTED: How Much Money Will You Save With Apple One?
The two most popular music streaming services in the world cost the same, so this is the easiest category. A custom plan on Spotify and Apple Music will bring you back $ 10 a month.
If you’re a college student, Spotify is a breeze. For $ 5 a month (and three months free), you get Spotify, Hulu, and Showtime in one promotional package. You also get two competing services, both of which offer more value than Apple’s streaming TV platform.
The $ 10 individual or $ 15 family plan is based on personal preference. Spotify has roughly twice as many paying subscribers as Apple Music. We have used both and can easily recommend both services.
In stand-alone plans, Apple offers 50GB of iCloud storage, which costs $ 1 when purchased out of the box. We recommend that you skip the package there and only pay your dollar. This would bring your total for the individual plan to $ 6 or $ 11, depending on whether you qualify for the student discount.
We would make the same recommendation across the board. For the family plan, the included 200GB of storage would cost $ 2.99 if purchased separately. The Premier Plan and its 2TB of storage are $ 9.99 when purchased separately.
Here’s an inventory of where we are in rolling our bundles:
- $ 11 for a custom plan ($ 4 monthly savings).
- $ 18 for a family plan ($ 2 monthly savings).
- $ 25 for a Premier plan ($ 5 monthly savings).
However, there is a chance that you may not be using as much storage space as you think. When you get by with less, the cost of the Family and Premier plans drops significantly.
Do your digital files bring joy?
Cloud storage should be secondary to physical storage. An actual drive is cheaper and gives you full control of what you’re storing and who can see it. Aside from security concerns, local storage is also usually faster and more reliable. Use the cloud to store secondary copies of photos, videos, and device backups.
You’re probably paying way too much for cloud storage if you only use it primarily for storing photos and videos. There is a better way!
Both Google and Amazon offer unlimited photo storage. The former is free with a Google Photos account and the latter requires an Amazon Prime subscription. Both also allow video uploads with some restrictions.
Google compresses your videos and photos to save space, and Amazon only gives you 5GB. Google is a great option, and you probably won’t notice the compression. Here’s a comparison for those who aren’t sure.
If you’re streaming your music and backing up your photo library elsewhere, you really shouldn’t need more than 50GB of iCloud storage for one person and 200GB for a family. That costs $ 1 or $ 3, depending on your needs.
If you’re a bit of a digital hoarder and need a premier plan, Apple isn’t the best option. IDrive and Zoolz both offer 5TB for around $ 50 per year, or just over $ 4 per month. That’s less than half what Apple charges for 2TB.
Build a better bundle
If you’re not using Apple TV + or Apple Arcade, it makes more sense to create your own bundle. Save 26% on the former and 10% on the latter on the individual and family plans.
With Apple’s Premier Plan, the math gets a little foggy at around $ 30 a month. This is where it makes sense to go for the bundle if you’re using at least three of the more expensive services (over $ 10) like the Apple Music Family Plan, iCloud Storage, Fitness +, or News +.
If you’re not using Apple Arcade or Apple TV +, make sure that at least three of the services listed above are being used significantly. Even then, options outside of the Apple ecosystem are likely to save you a healthy part of the change.
For example, there are some excellent free apps for the fitness enthusiast on iOS and Android such as FitOn, PEAR, and Nike Training Club. There are premium upgrades that offer additional workouts, but the free versions should be more than enough for most people.
For news junkies, a handful of email newsletters would probably serve you as well, if not better, than News +, as would apps like Flipboard or a list of your favorite RSS feeds in Feedly. The ability to customize feeds gives you granular control that you don’t get with News +. In our opinion, these apps also offer better content than Apple’s curators.
If you drop both News + and Fitness + for free options, the monthly cost of an Apple One bundle (or the services we’d be using anyway) drops to $ 19. This includes either an Apple Music or Spotify family plan and 5 TB of cloud storage. With the $ 9 you save every month, you can even bundle Netflix into your plan, which gives you superior value over Apple TV +.
More than you need
The reality of bundles is that they are meant to entice. Packaging popular services with some that are largely ignored is a win-win for businesses. They can get a few extra bucks out of you and populate their subscriber numbers for apps that may be having problems.
From a consumer perspective, many of these packages exist solely to make more money believing that you will be using apps and services that you will likely never use.
Apple One is no exception in this case.