SAN FRANCISCO: Apple said it is putting TV, music, news and more in a subscription bundle as it increases its push into services tied to its iPhone ecosystem.
An Apple One bundle that will be available later this year will include a freshly launched fitness service tied to Apple Watch. Apple made no mention of a keenly anticipated iPhone 5G delayed due to disruption in production caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The subscription bundle highlights Apple’s efforts to put more emphasis on digital content and services amid a sluggish global smartphone market.
The $15 Apple One bundle includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, the Apple Arcade game service and iCloud storage. The $20 family plan can be shared by up to six people, while an upgraded $30 bundle adds Apple Fitness+, Apple News+ and additional cloud storage.
“With Apple One, you can access the best of Apple entertainment across all your favorite devices with one simple subscription,” said Apple senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue.
The Fitness+ service introduced by Apple is tied to its smartwatch line-up, which was enhanced with a Watch SE at $279, a price lower than that of its flagship watches.
Apple said the Series 6 watch’s new ability to monitor blood oxygen using infrared light should be used for fitness and wellness purposes. Apple said flu investigators in Washington state will study heart rate and blood oxygen data from Apple Watch for potential early signs of respiratory conditions like influenza and COVID-19.
Doctors in India and other countries have used pulse oximeters to remotely check on COVID-19 patients and ensure their oxygen saturation level does not fall too low.
A level between 95 percent and 97 percent is considered normal by the American Lung Association.
Low oxygen levels are usually not the sole indicator of having COVID-19, the association said.
The previous version of the Apple Watch can already take measurements similar to electrocardiogram.
Apple’s Heart Study found that the watch could accurately detect atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat, according to a study that explored the role of wearable devices in identifying potential heart problems. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke more than five-fold, according to the American Heart Association.
Apple rival Fitbit Inc introduced a way to measure changes in blood oxygen earlier this year.
Apple touched on the roles its smartwatch, iPad and digital services could play in working or learning remotely and staying healthy as the pandemic continues to disrupt people’s lives. Apple Watch also serves as an anchor to the tech giant’s mobile software since it syncs with the iPhone.
Apple also announced its eighth-generation iPad with its A12 Bionic chip starting at $329, and a more powerful iPad Air from $499, powered by the A14 Bionic chip.
Apple rivals have already introduced 5G models, and China is far ahead of the US when it comes to the new generation networks. New generation 5G networks have also taken shape in South Korea and in parts of Europe.