NEW YORK – Tech giant Apple this week has been on the move, officially revealing four new pieces of hardware while counting down the days to the big announcement on March 25, 2019 for their upcoming streaming television and news service, which will be made available to participating users on a subscription-only basis.
Revealed in addition to the streaming service were updated versions of their already well-known digital devices including the AirPods, wireless Bluetooth earbuds featuring a built-in microphone that allows taking phone calls and talking to Apple’s digital assistant, Siri; the iPad Mini, a line of mini tablet computers; the iPad Air, a tablet computer; and the iMac, a family of all-in-one Macintosh desktop computers that have been the primary part of Apple’s consumer desktop offerings since its 1998 debut.
Early word is that all of the updates to the aforementioned devices, while incremental, are nonetheless reported as being effective and welcome additions to their respective product line-ups.
While new hardware reveals are typically reserved for their own individual presentations in a flashy manner at a trade show or other public event, the reveal of these four new products were instead done via press release.
While initially regarded as an unusually step for a leading tech company such as Apple, this was a stop-gap measure in order to free up time for the company to focus on the announcement of their streaming service at the March 25 “It’s Show Time” event, a service which is expected to be impressive in terms of both its content and the money Apple is willing to spend on creating it.
Billions of dollars will be spent on the as-yet un-named service to create its own television and news shows – said to feature high-profile stars, directors, writers, and producers – for distribution via Apple TV, the iPhone and iPad, and some third-party TVs that offer AirPlay support. In addition, devices other than those created by Apple may have access to the service as well in the near future, although this still remains speculation.
However, it is also expected to face heavy competition in a marketplace that is already replete with numerous consumer options for streaming services and growing more crowded by the second; Disney, fresh off its successful acquisition of 20th Century Fox’s television and film studios and their content, are planning on launching their own streaming service, Disney Plus, later this year. The service is said to feature countless movies and TV shows from Disney’s vast library; a library that is currently in the process of being removed from other streaming services such as Netflix in order to limit competition from the marketplace.
With streaming services becoming the norm, Apple will have their hands full on March 25 at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, as they will be making a hard-sell to the public and media as to why their streaming service is worth the money in a marketplace filled with competitors such as Hulu (which Disney now owns a controlling share of, thanks to the Fox acquisition), Netflix, CBS All-Access, Amazon Prime, and a plethora of others, many of whom are also offering original, high-profile content as well.
Some industry analysts are expressing skepticism on Apple’s foray into streaming services, noting that the bulk of the company’s profits will likely remain with hardware sales of their popular product lines such as the iPhone, which generated nearly $11 billion in revenue for Apple in the company’s most recent financial quarter through sales and usage. However, as a star-studded event that will see movie stars, big-name directors and producers, and the media in abundance, Apple will try and put their best foot forward in order to make a name for itself in the increasingly cutthroat world of streaming content.