Apple has sent out invites to an event with the tagline ‘It’s show time’ which is scheduled to be held on March 25. The Company doesn’t typically unveil any new iPhone models during this time of the year, but it is expected to launch other exciting new hardware at the event on March 25. We may also see Apple launch its new streaming service rivaling large online players such as Netflix at the event.
Some of the new hardware that Apple is expected to launch include a refresh to the iPad, iPod touch and AirPods. During this event, a non-pro iPad may be announced. We should see an upgrade to the iPad 6 and the iPad Mini 4. Apple had unveiled the current version of the iPod Touch in 2015 and it is in dire need of an upgrade. The new iPod Touch (7th Generation) may sport a bezel-less display which is in line with current trends. Designs for the AirPods 2 have already leaked online. Apple has seen massive sales of the first version of AirPods which were launched in 2016 and the company is definitely likely to launch an upgrade this year. Purportedly, the AirPods 2 will come with a refreshed design as well as faster wireless charging. However, the AirPods 2 are more likely to be launched during this year’s fall event.
The highlight of the event on March 25 is expected to be the launch of Apple’s new streaming network. Over the past few years streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar have seen huge growth and Apple is also looking to cash in on some of the gains seen by these online players. Apple is said to have spent $1 billion towards developing original content for its streaming service. However, this number is paltry when compared with Netflix’s expenditure of $12.04 billion in 2018 and the company is expected to double its budget for original content over the next 5 years. According to Bloomberg, Apple is planning a red carpet and A-list celebrities, as well as media moguls, are expected to unveil the new streaming service. We will have to wait and watch if Apple will be able to attract as many subscribers as it hopes to.
Apple is also expected to launch a news and magazine subscription service at the March 25 event. According to reports, Apple acquired Texture, a magazine subscription application last year which has been described as the Netflix of magazines. Purportedly, the staff of Texture which joined Apple is now working on a new news and magazine service for the company.
This event comes at a time when Apple is reporting a marked decline in iPhone sales which is the company’s largest revenue generator. As Apple’s iPhone sales growth plateaus, mainly due to a slowdown in the Chinese market, the company is trying to shift its focus to its services segment to fill the revenue gap. Apple’s services segment brought in $9.55 billion revenue in Q3 of 2018, up 31% from $7.27 billion revenue in Q3 of 2017. A double-digit year-on-year revenue growth in Apple’s services segment further cements its position as a revenue driver for the company. We will have to see if Apple’s streaming service adds to the momentum in services revenue growth or if the company fails to attract subscribers.