Are the Apple One Subscription Bundles Worth It? Let’s Maths It Out

Are the Apple One Subscription Bundles Worth It? Let’s Maths It Out
Screenshot: Apple/Gizmodo

Apple’s new subscription bundles launch today as Apple One. But how much are you really saving by subscribing to apps you might not even need?

Well, a good amount, actually — particularly when you consider the sum you’ll save over the course of the year. As with most subscription bundles, the more you spend, the more value you’ll get. There are a few things to keep in mind, however. For example, Apple’s forthcoming guided fitness app Fitness+ is only included with Apple’s premier tier, the most expensive of the three it offers. The other two plans are effectively the same but, like the premier plan, the pricier of the two options can be shared with up to five other people. So, which should you choose? Let’s maths this out.

Apple’s most affordable Apple One subscription option will be the individual plan (and, as its name implies, will be limited to a single individual). That plan costs $19.95 per month and includes Music, TV+, Arcade, and 50 GB of iCloud storage. Individually, those apps cost about $15 per month for Music, $7.99 per month for Apple TV+, $7.99 per month for Arcade, and $1 for 50 GB of iCloud storage. That brings our total to $32 for these apps, so the total savings is $12 on the individual plan.

The offerings are identical on the middle-tier family plan, but you’ll get 200 GB of extra storage rather than just 50 GB — that one costs $25.95 per month. Again, the other primary difference is that the plan can be shared with up to five people. Typically, an extra 200 GB of iCloud storage costs $4 per month on its own, and Apple’s family Music plan — which supports six individual accounts — costs $20 per month. Taken together with the costs of Arcade and TV+, that bumps you up to $40 per month, meaning this plan will save you at least $15 per month.

But the savings really depend on how many people you’re sharing it with. If six users on a family plan previously each had their own individual Arcade accounts, for example, that’s a monthly cost of $45 right there between them.

The $39.95-per-month premier plan, which bumps you up to 2 TB of iCloud storage, also includes News+ and Fitness+. On its own, the extra storage space typically costs $15 per month. News+ costs $14, and Fitness+ will also cost $14 when it launches later this year. Taken with the costs of the Music family plan, Arcade, and TV+, you’re looking at a monthly cost of about $80 per month at least. That means you’re saving $40 per month on this plan, and again, it can be shared with up to six people.

To subscribe to one of these bundles, head to the App Store app, click your profile, navigate to Subscriptions, and you should see an option to Get Apple One from this menu. (As always, make sure your software is up to date.) Alternatively, you can find it under the Subscriptions section from your Apple ID menu in Settings.

If you’d planned to subscribe to the family Music plan, TV+, and Fitness+, the cost of this service is already justified and the rest is merely a bonus. That’s the case in my household, and this is the plan I would likely be subscribing to if I decide to take the leap, because I’m already individually paying for a family Music plan and Apple TV+. That’ll largely depend on whether Fitness+ is a good fit for me, though. And right now, I’m using another fitness app, ‎Alive by Whitney Simmons, that I’m not necessarily looking to replace.

Basically, these bundles are only a steal insofar as you’re actually using them. If the cost of what you’re paying Apple for apps you do use is more than the cost of a subscription, take the leap. If not? Well, I’m sure Apple can figure out another way to rob us blind. But save your money.