Apple’s services business is thriving, but there’s one more subscription service that I want it to release so I can get everything I want out of my Apple One subscription.
Yesterday, Apple announced its Q4 2023 earnings. The iPhone, of course, still made up the majority of the company’s revenue. The Mac had quite a rough quarter, but that’s honestly fine — Apple’s Mac lineup has never been better. The iPad also had a slowing quarter, but that was expected, especially since the company hasn’t released a new iPad in a minute.
However, the company’s services business continues to grow a lot. In fact, that part of the company now counts for its second-largest business behind the iPhone — easily outperforming the Mac, iPad, and wearables business (Apple Watch and AirPods). Services made $22.3 billion in revenue in Q4 2023, up from $19.1 billion in Q4 of 2022.
Apple’s services business has been growing over the last few years. Apple Music originally launched back in 2015, but the rest of its services are more recent. In 2019, the company unveiled a ton of new services, including Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Card, and Apple TV+. In 2020, the company launched Apple Fitness+ and Apple One, a subscription that bundled all of its services into one monthly price. In 2023, it rolled out Apple Savings for Apple Card customers.
As an Apple One Premier customer, I’ve been really happy with the vast amount of value that I get from subscribing to the bundle — especially since I share all of those services with my family. That creates an immense amount of value for me. However, there is one service from Apple that I wish had that “plus” icon next to it — and one that I wish was rolled into my Apple One subscription.
Apple Books+ is the missing piece from Apple One
Apple needs one more subscription service, and it has to do with us readers: Apple Books+. Apple’s digital book service initially launched as iBooks back in 2010 and eventually changed into Apple Books in 2018. The service allows readers to read ebooks as well as listen to audiobooks. Especially when paired with an iPad mini, I think it’s one of the most compelling and enjoyable digital reading experiences — even when compared to Amazon’s Kindle.
However, there’s one problem with Apple Books — you have to pay for every book and every audiobook individually. There’s no subscription service that gives readers access to more content every month like some other subscription services from competing platforms. Of course, Kindle Unlimited is probably the best book subscription service out there. The service gives customers access to over a million books, audiobooks, and magazines.
I’d love to see Apple release a similar subscription service for Apple Books. While Kindle Unlimited is an interesting model, I’d actually prefer the company to take on a model more like Audible, which lets subscribers listen to ANY audiobook they want each month. Rather than a preselected amount of books or audiobooks, being able to choose one title each month myself would be my preference — both would, of course, be even better.
That value would get even better if such a service was rolled into the lineup of Apple One, especially when you consider that this benefit could come to your entire family as well. Personally, I think Apple One Premier would be worth a price of $49.99 per month with all of those services included in it.
I haven’t heard a peep about this service being anywhere close to launch, however. That said, I can dream! Bring on the books…plus!