Apple unveils new streaming service, credit card and more

  • Apple on Monday unveiled a streaming-video platform, credit card and subscription news service
  • Apple TV Plus will host the tech giant’s own video content and offer access to cable channels including HBO, Showtime and Starz
  • One Apple-created series, called “The Morning Show,” will star Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell
  • Apple is teaming with Goldman Sachs on its new credit card, with perks including cash back on purchases

In a sign of the times at Apple, CEO Tim Cook’s most surprising reveal on Monday wasn’t a sleek gadget, but rather a shiny titanium credit card. The unveiling at the technology giant’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters came as it offered a first look at a host of new products, including a video-streaming platform, subscription news tool and even a book club hosted by Oprah, aimed at offsetting slowing iPhone sales by diving further into services.

The most eagerly anticipated of the products is Apple TV Plus, which will place the company in direct competition with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others in the burgeoning business of providing online TV and movie content. The launch comes as Apple seeks to shore up growth, with the company in January posting its first decline in revenue and profit for a holiday quarter in more than 10 years.

“We’ve also been creating a collection of world-class services, and that is what today is all about,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in his opening remarks.

Apple is betting on services to pick up the slack — and for good reason: Three in four Americans have at least one online subscription, and video streaming services are the most popular.

Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, speaks during an Apple product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on March 25, 2019 in Cupertino, California.  Michael Short / Getty Images

In addition to introducing Apple Channels, which gives subscribers access to Starz, Showtime, HBO and other cable channels within the app, Apple announced collaborations with some of Hollywood’s elite to produce its own content. Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Jason Momoa each spoke during the event to drum up excitement about their work with the tech giant.

Aniston announced her return to TV in a series with Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell called “The Morning Show” that will take an “honest look at the complex relationships between women and men in the workplace and engage in the conversation people are afraid to have unless they are behind closed doors,” Aniston said.

Apple didn’t disclose what it will charge, if anything, for the streaming service.

Teaming with Goldman Sachs

Apple also announced its own credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs that will be compatible with Apple Pay, it’s current app that enables users’ iPhones to function like wallets.

Perks of signing up for an Apple credit card include “Daily Cash” — real money that customers earn every time they use the credit card. Apple credit card holders earn two percent of the purchase amount when they use the apple card, and three percent when they make a purchase directly form Apple.

Yet while the payment card drew applause during Apple’s presentation, some experts were underwhelmed.

“This card will get a lot of headlines, but its bark is greater than its bite. People will sign up for it, but that will be mostly because they love Apple, not because this card is better than anything that already exists,” said analyst Ted Rossman.

Apple’s cash back offer isn’t unique either, he said.

“For example: Citi Double Cash is a very simple, easy-to-use 2% cash back card. And that’s on everything (not just Apple Pay purchases),” he said.

Apple Arcade, the world’s first subscription game service, Apple News Plus, which provides access to hundreds of magazines and news site subscriptions were also announced at Monday’s event.

Categories: Technology, US & World News

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