Apple held its latest event yesterday, revealing a whole host of new products and updates to existing devices including the Apple Watch 6 (opens in new tab) along with a new iPad and iPad Air revision, but the most surprising reveal of the night has to be Apple One, a new subscription service from the world’s most fashionable tech company.
Apple One bundles six different Apple services up into a single package - Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, iCloud, Apple News Plus, and Apple Fitness Plus. This is quite a unique move from Apple as there really isn’t much else like this out there at the moment at first glance.
But then we remembered Amazon Prime. While it might be most often associated with the free delivery service that you get, Prime membership comes with a lot of similar benefits to Apple One. So how do the two services stack up against each other? Apple One is unlikely to conquer the online shopping market anytime soon, but does it offer a viable counter to Amazon Prime as an entertainment and online convenience package?
Apple One vs Amazon Prime: Price
Apple One comes with three pricing options depending on how much you’re looking to spend and what services you’re interested in. The three tiers are Individual, Family, and Premier. You can also get a month long free trial to Apple One, but only for the services that you haven't already tried (so if you have an Apple Music account, you can’t get a free month of it).
The Individual package costs $14.99 per month and comes with access to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for a single user.
The Family package costs $20 per month and comes with access to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, and 200GB of iCloud storage for up to five people.
The Premier package is the most expensive option at $30 per month, but for that you get access to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, Apple Fitness Plus (when it launches later this year) and 2TB of iCloud storage.
By comparison, Amazon Prime only has a single subscription on offer which costs either $119 per year, or $12.99 per month. This gets you access to Prime Delivery, Prime Video, Prime Music and a whole host of other services that we've detailed below.
When does Apple One launch?
We don't have an official date yet, but Apple has confirmed that Apple One will be launching later in 2020. There isn't a whole lot of 2020 left (thankfully), so that means it will be releasing soon.
Apple One vs Amazon Prime: Perks
Apple One Perks
Apple One bundles together several of Apple’s standalone services into one package. You get access to Apple Music, which is a music streaming service with over 70 million songs on it. You can stream music, download it for offline listening and even get some live radio stations through it. It’s compatible with all major devices too, including Android smartphones and tablets, so you don’t need an Apple device to take advantage.
Apple TV Plus is also included in your Apple One subscription. We’ve already reviewed Apple TV Plus (opens in new tab) as part of our best TV streaming services (opens in new tab) guide. Apple TV Plus lets you stream and watch Apple’s original programming including The Morning Show, See, and Greyhound. At the moment Apple TV is much more limited than other services like Netflix, as it only offers original content and doesn’t have a library of movies and TV shows from other networks to pad out the library. What is there is good though, and Apple has been throwing money around to bring in big stars like Tom Hanks, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Aniston.
For the gamers out there, Apple One also lets you use Apple Arcade. Think of this as a Netflix for mobile games - you get access to a library of over 100 games including Sonic Racing and Crossy Road Castle to play on your iPhone (opens in new tab), tablet, or other compatible devices.
iCloud is an online cloud storage service that lets you store your valuable data (like photos, videos, and documents) online so you can access them from any device, anywhere. The amount of storage you get here depends on the tier you sign up for, but even the basic 50GB is quite generous.
Apple News Plus is another feature of Apple One and once again it’s another standalone subscription service, but this one offers you access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers from around the world including vanity Fair, The New Yorker, TIME, and The Wall Street Journal. You can see the full list here. You get full access to these magazines and websites, and even get audio roundups of the week's biggest news with audio stories.
Finally, Apple One subscribers will be getting access to Apple Fitness Plus when it launches later this year. Apple Fitness Plus is a new fitness app that will work in conjunction with the Apple Watch, so to be making the most of this service you’ll need to grab an Apple Watch too if you don’t have one already. Apple Fitness Plus gives you access to workouts from expert trainers while also tracking and integrating your personal vitals and stats to give you a complete personal fitness setup.
Amazon Prime Perks
By comparison, Amazon Prime offers some very similar products in its subscription service, but diverges quite heavily in other areas. The main benefit of Amazon Prime is of course the free shipping that comes with Prime Delivery. You get free next day delivery on qualifying items, and can even get same day delivery if you live in the right ZIP code. You also get exclusive deals and early access to some sales as part of Prime.
There are other shopping focused features that set Amazon Prime apart from Apple One. You can order groceries and essentials using Prime, with discounts at Whole Foods included in your subscription. You can also get fresh fruit, veg, meat and fish delivered using Amazon Fresh. And if you need some new threads, Amazon Wardrobe lets you order and try clothes out before committing to buying them - just send back what you don’t want.
Where Prime and Apple One are similar is in the entertainment offerings. Amazon Prime comes with Prime Video, which is a TV streaming service offering hundreds of TV shows and movies for your viewing pleasure. This includes Amazon originals like The Boys, but crucially, it also offers releases from outside the Amazon bubble with movies like Knives Out and The Meg.
You also get Prime Music, which gives you access to over two million songs. This is a far cry from the 70 million+ that Apple Music offers though. This is because Amazon’s other music service, Music Unlimited exists and Amazon wants you to upgrade. Still, two million songs is two million songs - there’s bound to be something good in there.
Gamers can take advantage of Primer Gaming, which gives out free PC games and loot but doesn’t offer a library of games like Apple Arcade does. If books are more your thing, then Prime reading offers access to thousands of books, comics, and magazines. This is focused more on fiction and non-fiction though, so don’t expect this to compete with Apple News.
Apple One vs Amazon Prime: Which is the best value?
While Amazon Prime is the closest service we could think of to Apple One’s offering, in reality they’re quite different. Sure, there is a decent amount of overlap in their offerings with TV streaming services and music apps, but they have very different focuses.
Apple One provides excellent value if you’re already a subscriber to one or two of the included services. Each of the individual services on offer - Apple News Plus, Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, etc - each costs $9.99 per month for a subscription. So if you’re going to be using them anyway, you might as well save money and get access to more services in the process - it’s a no brainer.
Some of Apple’s services blow Amazon’s offerings out of the water too - Apple News Plus is a fantastic deal and Amazon has nothing like it to counter with. Apple Music is a fantastic music streaming service too, while Prime Music’s library feels like a tacked on extra with a few B-side tracks from unknown artists.
But Amazon Prime has its own major strong points. Prime Video trounces Apple TV Plus when it comes to TV and movie content, and the shopping and free delivery benefits are exceptional value for regular online shoppers.
Basically it comes down to this: are you already deep into the Apple ecosystem? Do you have an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch? Are you already subscribed to Apple Music or Apple TV Plus? If so, Apple One is a fantastic package that gets you everything Apple has to offer at a discounted price.
But if you’re not already in the Apple lifestyle, Apple One isn’t going to convert you - nor is it designed too. So for most people Amazon Prime will be the better deal as you’ll get more value from its offerings. Apple fans though? Get signed up ASAP.