Apple stock (AAPL) hit an all-time high today following reports that the company is preparing to offer multiple digital service bundles – including an Apple TV+ and Apple Music package.
At the time of this writing, Apple officials hadn’t publicly responded to the reported service combos. Nevertheless, the rumors were enough to inspire confidence in investors, who drove AAPL shares to their highest all-time price, $464.17.
A small sell-off resulted in a dip following this record-setting value, though Apple stock still managed to close the day at $460.04, up exactly $8 from Wednesday. The figure is more than double AAPL’s price of $199.67, reached during the domestic onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’ve long covered the possibility of an Apple TV+, Apple News+, and Apple Music bundle. Preliminary negotiations between Apple and the Big Three record labels began in earnest last October, and rumors in early June of this year indicated that the deal could come to fruition.
Generally speaking, major record companies have appeared hesitant to embrace bundles because they believe that the involved price reduction could inhibit their earnings from Apple Music. But if current reports prove true – and the evidence suggests that they will – the leading labels, including Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music, have apparently overcome their differences with Apple on the topic.
The bundles themselves will reportedly roll out as early as mid-October, to coincide with the possible release window of the iPhone 12. A basic plan will reportedly feature Apple TV+ and Apple Music+, whereas a middle tier may encompass those services and Apple Arcade.
The next level could boast all the prior services and Apple News+, while a fourth and final option might include all Apple subscription offerings and bolstered iCloud storage space. Apple hasn’t yet identified the packages’ prices (or, to be sure, confirmed their specifics).
Bundled service options and a remarkable Apple stock price weren’t the only reasons the 44-year-old company made headlines today. After Fortnite developer Epic Games debuted a direct-payment system for in-game transactions in an effort to skirt the App Store’s controversial 30 percent commission, Apple promptly made the game unavailable on its devices.
Demonstrating that the move was in fact carefully calculated, Epic Games then “filed legal papers in response to Apple” and posted a clip based upon a 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial, taking aim at Apple’s App Store policies. On-screen text in the video reads: “Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming ‘1984.’”
Apple didn’t comment on the Epic Games showdown in time for publishing.