What to expect from the March 25 'It's show time' Apple News and streaming video event

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 12
Apple has confirmed the long-rumored March 25 event but, of course, said nothing directly about what will be unveiled there. AppleInsider examines the evidence for Apple launching a more coherent Apple News service with magazines and other publications, plus the debut of Apple's streaming video service -- and what new hardware could appear.




Based on the regular sources, and in this case especially from examining Apple's deals with other companies, here's what you can expect to see on March 25, plus what is in the works at Apple but less likely to appear as well.

Show time

Continuing Apple's penchant for cryptic invitations, the one for the March 25 event is headed "It's show time." The invitation isn't a static image, though, nor is it quite like last October's event where hundreds of different images were then made into an animation. This time Apple ran an old-style film countdown before unveiling a regular white Apple logo on a black background.

Given the word 'show' and the film-style intro, it does look as if this event will be all about Apple's forthcoming video service.

However, all prior rumors about the event have suggested that the real highlight of the launch will instead be Apple's subscription service of newspapers and magazines. AppleInsider questioned this, though. If Apple does launch its video service at all, it will surely bring to the stage some of the celebrity talent that we know is working on programming for it.

And if you have the likes of Oprah Winfrey, JJ Abrams, Jennifer Garner and Steve Carrell at your launch, they're going to outshine any updated news service.

Apple's new video service will surely be embedded within its existing TV app
Apple's new video service will surely be embedded within its existing TV app


Given that and how Apple has belabored the film and show aspects of its invitation, it's now much more likely that the video service will be the centerpiece of the event.

Except that Apple is known to have spent over $1 billion on original shows for this streaming video service and undoubtedly it will want to launch it to maximum effect. And there's a problem here because some reports say that the service won't launch for another several months.

Apple announced the iPhone and the iPad many months before they were available to buy but it did so from necessity. At the time, back in 2007 and 2010, regulatory filings by the FCC would be public so details of Apple's then forthcoming phone would be known.

There can't be anything similar with a video service so it's up to Apple to decide when to unveil it. If the event does launch the video service, that service will be coming sooner than these reports expect. Otherwise, Apple's going to be left announcing nothing much more about video than, say, an update to the TV app or -- less likely but still rumored -- a mini Apple TV dongle.

What's more likely is that this all means that delays with the video service have been ironed out.

"Apple News Magazines"

Multiple sources have said that the news service would be the centerpiece of a March 25 event. It's known, for instance, that the company has been working on a paid Apple News subscription and that's now been rumored to be called "Apple News Magazines".

That name was seemingly confirmed in beta versions of iOS 12.2 which also indicated that payments will be linked to your iTunes account. There also appears to be what's going to be called a bundle subscription, which could mean one fee for "Apple News Magazines," Apple Music, and the forthcoming Apple video service.

A subscription to "Apple News Magazines" by itself is rumored to cost $10 per month, the same as an individual subscription to Apple Music.

This follows Apple's acquisition of Texture, a service that offered access to magazines. The Apple version is expected to continue with magazines but also add newspapers.

Apple bought Texture in 2018 as the basis for its forthcoming news and magazine service
Apple bought Texture in 2018 as the basis for its forthcoming news and magazine service


However, there are reports of issues over just how it will do that, and specifically which titles it can carry. Reportedly, Apple is planning to take 50 percent of the income from the subscription and at least some publishers are balking at that.

Hardware

Apple does not hold events every March. Since 2011, it ran five events but had no announcements in 2013, 2014 or 2017. Each time it has had an event, though, it has always unveiled new hardware. Only once, in 2015, did a March event fail to include a new iPad.

That may not be the case this time, at least according to the some sources that claim the rumored AirPods 2 and fifth-generation iPad mini will not be launched at this event.

While there have been conflicting rumors, the most likely evidence says now that AirPods 2 will launch in the fall. This first redesign of the AirPods is expected to include greater health-related features and improved sound.

The AirPower charging pad may be launched and if so, there will be a small AirPods update too
The AirPower charging pad may be launched and if so, there will be a small AirPods update too


We might, however, see another kind of update to the AirPods. Other reports say that the much delayed AirPower charging mat is so close to release that TV advertisements were being filmed in February. If Apple does show the AirPower charging pad, it will also show an updated AirPods case that can be charged using it.

Other hardware

We know that about the updated AirPods charging case because Apple has actually said that it will be releasing one. Anything else is really a guess until Apple's event itself, but some guesses are persistent and even reasonable. While there have been fake reports of the iPod touch returning, for instance, there is still enough real substance to mean it is possible. Whether it's probable or not is another question, but a 2019 iPod touch would be a great device to watch Apple's new video service on.

That might be particularly relevant since iOS and Apple TV are both significantly better for video than the Mac. You can't currently play 4K video on the Mac, for instance.

There is other hardware that has long been expected, too, as Apple is arguably overdue to update the iMac. It was the surprise omission at the October 30, 2018 event which otherwise saw the Mac mini and the MacBook Air released.

This doesn't mean the iMac is any more likely than other hardware to be launched at the March 25 event, however, as Apple now has a history of doing certain hardware updates with just a press release as it did with the refreshed MacBook Pros in summer 2018.

If an iMac update were something like a minor speed or other specification improvement, we'd be certain Apple would do it via a press release. And equally if it were a major design change, we'd expect a new iMac to appear at an event. However, some of the updates to the MacBook Pro line were substantial so it may be more a case of what Apple can best fit into its events to get the most mileage out of the media in attendance.

The show's the thing

It's never just a case of what's ready to be launched. It is always a case of what Apple can make the most impact with and that involves both launching major products and making sure that they don't compete with each other for attention too much. Apple wants everyone buying everything, it doesn't want us diverted by too many options.

This makes us question the idea that Apple will launch both the news and the video service together. The news service doesn't feel like enough of a show to make an Apple event about all by itself, yet it would be drowned out if Apple also launched its Netflix competitor at the same time.

And maybe Apple is going to use this event to double down on how it uses security as a selling point for its devices. Early in March 2019, the company bought and registered the website domain name PrivacyIsImportant.com. There's still nothing on that site, nothing whatsoever, but we can well see Apple launching it at an event.

We'll know on March 25 and Apple has announced that, as ever, the event will be streamed live.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    I'd be tempted by the magazines.  At different times in my life I've had Car & Driver magazine, and/or Men's Health.  Like them both, but eventually let them expire  Those are usually $9 to $13/year initial sign up for one magazine.  As a soon-to-be-old-geezer, the concept of $10/month but countless magazines is very tempting.  Surely they'd have many categories:  cars, mens-health, outdoor-stuff, and something-I'm-not-thinking-of-that-will-be-more-interesting-to-me-then-all-of-them. 

    Would be worth getting a $329 base iPad and up my mental-stimulation by reading more.  Refurb & Clearance iPad 128GB = $309.  Nice.

    I assume Family Sharing would work (???) and my wife could have her several magazines as well?  That doubles the value right there.  [On her $329 iPad btw (what a miracle)].

    Cheers!

    E.
    mld53alolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 60
    I really hope the focus is movies, tv, and live broadcasts. I feel that devoting too much time to the news and magazine aspects would be a mistake. If they get video right (price, value, variety) they will make a killing. I will seriously reconsider my current streaming costs (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crave (only way for Canadians to get HBO), Sportsnet). I really hope they can offer something that cover these bases with additional value that would convince me to switch. I have Apple Music and if I can bundle the video service along with it in a family plan package at a reasonable price I will definitely be on board.
    allmypeopleHenryDJPlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 60
    crudmancrudman Posts: 56member
    I really hope the focus is movies, tv, and live broadcasts. I feel that devoting too much time to the news and magazine aspects would be a mistake. If they get video right (price, value, variety) they will make a killing. I will seriously reconsider my current streaming costs (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crave (only way for Canadians to get HBO), Sportsnet). I really hope they can offer something that cover these bases with additional value that would convince me to switch. I have Apple Music and if I can bundle the video service along with it in a family plan package at a reasonable price I will definitely be on board.
    Agreed but with one caveat - as a fellow Canuck I fear the video streaming, magazine and news services will lag on our side of the border like, unfortunately, a lot of Apple services. Call me cautiously optimistic while trying not to get hopes up. 
  • Reply 4 of 60
    I really hope the focus is movies, tv, and live broadcasts. I feel that devoting too much time to the news and magazine aspects would be a mistake. If they get video right (price, value, variety) they will make a killing. I will seriously reconsider my current streaming costs (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crave (only way for Canadians to get HBO), Sportsnet). I really hope they can offer something that cover these bases with additional value that would convince me to switch. I have Apple Music and if I can bundle the video service along with it in a family plan package at a reasonable price I will definitely be on board.
    You can't get HBO via Hulu in the Great White North?
  • Reply 5 of 60
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,192member
    If video is a big deal for Apple perhaps they'll follow Amazon's lead and do some sort of a Video HomePod? It would be rather handy to have an Echo Show type device that has a nice retina display, built-in Apple TV, serves as a HomeKit hub, and sounds as good as the HomePod. 
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 60
    dewme said:
    If video is a big deal for Apple perhaps they'll follow Amazon's lead and do some sort of a Video HomePod? It would be rather handy to have an Echo Show type device that has a nice retina display, built-in Apple TV, serves as a HomeKit hub, and sounds as good as the HomePod. 
    Interesting point.  The iPod was called a "pod" to not box it in to any particular functionality, soon adding video to it's music capabilities.  HomePod could follow that same trajectory.  I'm not sure what a HomePod nano would be, however.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 60
    Obviously, the "show time" reference is to the sports franchise that is associated with that phrase.  Apple is buying the Lakers--and adding Magic Johnson and Labron James to the Board.  Eddie Cue will have to give up his court side Clippers tickets, and Clippers owner Steve Balmer will be back in our lives again.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 60
    crudman said:
    I really hope the focus is movies, tv, and live broadcasts. I feel that devoting too much time to the news and magazine aspects would be a mistake. If they get video right (price, value, variety) they will make a killing. I will seriously reconsider my current streaming costs (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crave (only way for Canadians to get HBO), Sportsnet). I really hope they can offer something that cover these bases with additional value that would convince me to switch. I have Apple Music and if I can bundle the video service along with it in a family plan package at a reasonable price I will definitely be on board.
    Agreed but with one caveat - as a fellow Canuck I fear the video streaming, magazine and news services will lag on our side of the border like, unfortunately, a lot of Apple services. Call me cautiously optimistic while trying not to get hopes up. 
    This is to be expected but with my current set up it is actually quite good. My biggest fear at this point with regards to video streaming services is not region specific content but the loss of value over time. The very reason I switched to Netflix originally was due to the fact that satellite was horrendously overpriced and I didn't watch 1/100th of the offered selection. The value was there with Netflix at the time. A single platform that hosted the majority of titles. 

    The situation is going south very quick. Every Joe, Dick, and Harry studio has decided that they need their own streaming service. The landscape does not offer the value that it once did. You now have to subscribe to many streaming services in order to get the content you want. The fracturing and creation of a million separate streaming services is studios finally becoming technologically proficient and they have come to collect. They have to make up for the lost time and money that they lost out on during the early days of video streaming.

    At the end of the day the landscape will become more profitable for the studios and way less convenient for consumers.

    Apple is one of the few companies in the world that has a good reputation and a metric shit tonne of cash. All important factors at the bargaining table. If they can bring the studios in line and offer something that makes me see the value, as I once did when I first switched to streaming, they will have a day one customer with me.
  • Reply 9 of 60
    FolioFolio Posts: 652member
    I hear Alec Baldwin in his SNL persona might kick things off, introducing Mr "Tim Apple" and his awesome set of toys, some shiny, some tiny...
    MacProdewmejmey267hentaiboyDAalsethlolliverGeeAyeelectrosoftwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 60
    I really hope the focus is movies, tv, and live broadcasts. I feel that devoting too much time to the news and magazine aspects would be a mistake. If they get video right (price, value, variety) they will make a killing. I will seriously reconsider my current streaming costs (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crave (only way for Canadians to get HBO), Sportsnet). I really hope they can offer something that cover these bases with additional value that would convince me to switch. I have Apple Music and if I can bundle the video service along with it in a family plan package at a reasonable price I will definitely be on board.
    You can't get HBO via Hulu in the Great White North?
    No, there is a devils bargain between Canadas worst telecommunication company (Bell) and HBO. Crave is the Bell owned digital distribution channel that allows its subscribers to watch tv and movies from HBO, Showtime, and a few other channels). Additionally Hulu is not available in Canada (without the use of a VPN).

    Canadians have some of the highest telecommunication bills in the world, no thanks to the cabal of our telecommunication overlords (Bell, Rogers, Telus). It also doesn't help that when competition from the states tries to make inroads into Canada these companies shit a brick and run to the government. And predictably nothing happened. 

    Local ISP's have started to challenge the established players (with FTTH, which I luckily have), but we need a similar thing to happen to the mobile space as it is depressingly overpriced and monopolistic. 
    jbishop1039DAalsethlolliverrandominternetperson
  • Reply 11 of 60
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,026member
    May be too early but 2019 Macbook Pro upgrade announcement would be nice. Will have Intel 10nm processors, WiFi 6 and other enhancements and hopefully some versions without touch-strip. No tocuh-strip makes cheaper MBP, reduce hardware complexity and less cost to repair/replace/maintain,
  • Reply 12 of 60
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,975administrator
    wood1208 said:
    May be too early but 2019 Macbook Pro upgrade announcement would be nice. Will have Intel 10nm processors, WiFi 6 and other enhancements and hopefully some versions without touch-strip. No tocuh-strip makes cheaper MBP, reduce hardware complexity and less cost to repair/replace/maintain,
    I don't see Apple surrendering the Touch Bar any time soon.
    lolliverwatto_cobracurtis hannah
  • Reply 13 of 60
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    Regarding the comment about an Apple TV dongle, surely the Apple TV can be THE dongle easily enough with a minor software or firmware update.
  • Reply 14 of 60
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    wood1208 said:
    May be too early but 2019 Macbook Pro upgrade announcement would be nice. Will have Intel 10nm processors, WiFi 6 and other enhancements and hopefully some versions without touch-strip. No tocuh-strip makes cheaper MBP, reduce hardware complexity and less cost to repair/replace/maintain,
    I'd have thought the Touch Bar is actually less costly and easier to replace than a bunch of keys these days.  It's just a mini iPad/iPhone when you think about it.  Personally, I love mine on the MBP and hope the new Mac Pro has a keyboard with a trackpad and touch bar as well as a mouse of course.

    Talking of Magic Mouse 2 ... for heaven's sake Tim Apple put the charging port in its ass, so we can still use it while charging instead of the poor thing having to lie like a half dead cockroach on its back and useless while charging.
    edited March 12 anantksundaramuniscapembenz1962watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 60
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,026member
    wood1208 said:
    May be too early but 2019 Macbook Pro upgrade announcement would be nice. Will have Intel 10nm processors, WiFi 6 and other enhancements and hopefully some versions without touch-strip. No tocuh-strip makes cheaper MBP, reduce hardware complexity and less cost to repair/replace/maintain,
    I don't see Apple surrendering the Touch Bar any time soon.
    Agree but one can always hope for. Apple should have two categories of MAC laptops. One with all bells and whistles including touch-strip,health sensors,AR,etc,etc and other GOTO versions, simple like Mackbook Pros before 2016. Goal should be to expand MAC eco-system at top,middle and bottom.
  • Reply 16 of 60
    wood1208 said:
    May be too early but 2019 Macbook Pro upgrade announcement would be nice. Will have Intel 10nm processors, WiFi 6 and other enhancements and hopefully some versions without touch-strip. No tocuh-strip makes cheaper MBP, reduce hardware complexity and less cost to repair/replace/maintain,
    I don't see Apple surrendering the Touch Bar any time soon.
    I enjoy my Touch Bar, even just for volume control and muting. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 60
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    dewme said:
    If video is a big deal for Apple perhaps they'll follow Amazon's lead and do some sort of a Video HomePod? It would be rather handy to have an Echo Show type device that has a nice retina display, built-in Apple TV, serves as a HomeKit hub, and sounds as good as the HomePod. 
    Interesting point.  The iPod was called a "pod" to not box it in to any particular functionality, soon adding video to it's music capabilities.  HomePod could follow that same trajectory.  I'm not sure what a HomePod nano would be, however.
    " I'm not sure what a HomePod nano would be, however." ... A wee HomePod?  Maybe battery powered?
    edited March 12 randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 60
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    wood1208 said:
    May be too early but 2019 Macbook Pro upgrade announcement would be nice. Will have Intel 10nm processors, WiFi 6 and other enhancements and hopefully some versions without touch-strip. No tocuh-strip makes cheaper MBP, reduce hardware complexity and less cost to repair/replace/maintain,
    I don't see Apple surrendering the Touch Bar any time soon.
    I enjoy my Touch Bar, even just for volume control and muting. 
    I wonder how many folks that deride the Touch bar actually have a Mac with one?  It beats me how you wouldn't like it.  As I said earlier I go to Mac I have without one and miss it and hope Apple bring out keyboards for the Mac Pro with one (and iMac I guess, I don't use iMacs so forget about them).
    edited March 12 StrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 60
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    Folio said:
    I hear Alec Baldwin in his SNL persona might kick things off, introducing Mr "Tim Apple" and his awesome set of toys, some shiny, some tiny...
    That would never happen. Cook would be crossing the very delicate line he’s been walking with Trumps least favorite “unfunny” actor...
  • Reply 20 of 60
    Lets hope we see a newer Mac Pro. I also hold out hope that they will debut a new larger MacBook Pro. Returning to the 17" form factor for a mobile workstation replacement. Some tasks like editing video on a 15" screen are very claustrophobic! Airpods 2 I only care about if they have different size ear canal pieces. All other premium ear buds offer multiple tip sizes. Only apple expect one size to fit all.
    zoidbert
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