Analysts say the company is leaning into its existing credibility and themes in health and fitness, particularly after the Apple Watch’s success as a fitness-focused device. The big question Apple is betting on: is whether safety alone will be a large enough driver to attract customers to a subscription-type service. Consumers may end up being drawn in by the array of services available on the iPhone, in addition to Emergency SOS.
The march toward subscription-everything continues, with recent announcements from Apple laying the foundation for a new kind of subscription: safety as a service. This includes streaming services, auto features, and now even your personal well-being. The tech business unveiled Emergency SOS via satellite on Sept. 7. It is a new function that works with its most recent iPhones and connects customers to emergency services using a satellite antenna built into the device. Apple announced that the service would be free for two years, but it did not specify how much it would cost following that time. When asked about potential prices, Apple did not respond.
A potential safety subscription would sit alongside a variety of other wallet-draining offerings from Apple, including Peloton-competitor Apple Fitness (which runs at $9.99 per month), its own in-house streaming service, Apple TV+ and its curated games subscription, Apple Arcade both at $4.99 a month. The company also offers a bundle version, the Apple One at $14.95 per month, for its most dedicated subscribers, and even offers hardware-as-a-subscription through the iPhone Upgrade Program, which promises subscribers the latest iPhone each year for $39.50 a month.
“We’ve generally seen in our work that consumer upgrades are more driven by a collection of features,” Samik Chatterjee, IT Hardware Analyst at JPMorgan. “When you think about what Apple brings with their ecosystem, there’s a lot in the convenience of using the hardware but also the services you can consume on them, including now safety.”