If you subscribe to Apple One, you might have received an e-mail advising that the cost will be increasing come December 19, 2023. And it’s not by just a little: the highest Premier subscription tier, which was previously $37.95 per month, is now going up to $44.95 per month, a whopping $7/mo. increase. This is happening alongside price increases on many individual services, all of which were announced last month but are officially coming into effect before the end of the year. When I first signed up for Apple One Premier, I priced it all out to make sure it was worth it factoring in only the services I use anyway. It was. But is it still?
Pricing it Out
Let’s first look at what Apple One Premier includes. You get the option to share the plan with up to five people in your immediate family. You get access to Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud with 2TB storage, Apple News+, Apple Music, and Apple Fitness+.
For those who have the Individual plan that was previously $18.95/mo., it’s now $22.95/mo. but still includes Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and iCloud with 50GB storage. The Family Plan is $28.95 (previously $24.95) and continues to include 200GB iCloud+ storage, Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple Arcade.
The biggest savings are, of course, for people who use everything that Apple One Premier has to offer. Family sharing is typically $16.99/mo. on its own, Apple TV+ is $12.99/mo. (previously $8.99/mo.), Apple Arcade $8.99/mo. (previously $5.99/mo.), iCloud with 2TB storage is $12.99/mo. (unchanged), Apple News+ is $16.99/mo. (previously $12.99/mo.), Apple Music $16.99/mo. (unchanged but it went up from $14.99 last year), and Apple Fitness+ is $12.99/mo. (unchanged). To subscribe to all six of these services separately would cost $81.94/mo. making Apple One a no-brainer.
However, how many people really use all these services? I know I don’t, which means pricing out my plan based on these new costs. I use Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+, and Apple Music frequently, so those are ones I would be subscribing to anyway. My iCloud storage was full for some time, and I mainly upgraded to Apple One to be able to get the 2TB storage, which has been a lifesaver. So, I’ll consider that a must-have as well (now that I have gotten used to it, I can’t imagine going back to the constant “your iCloud storage is full” messaging). I don’t use Apple Arcade, only need a plan for myself so Family isn’t necessary, and I get my news from various sources so I would be fine without Apple News+. Would it be best to go back to an individual plan and pay for extra iCloud storage on top of that?
For Apple TV+, iCloud with 2TB storage, Apple Music (at $10.99/mo. without family sharing), and Apple Fitness+, I would have to pay a total of $49.96 with these current prices, which is more than the Premier bundle price and without a few nice-to-have services. If I were to opt for an Individual plan, which includes 50GB iCloud storage, Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple Arcade, it would be $22.95/mo. I’d have to buy Apple Fitness+ separately for an additional $12.99/mo. and pay $12.99/mo. to further upgrade iCloud storage to 2TB. Grand total: $48.93. Not worth it.
What Should You Do?
For me, I’m still better off sticking with Apple One Premier, which saves me a few bucks on the services I use but provides additional ones I can look into using more often. Even if I don’t use them, I’d still be paying more by signing up for the services I use separately.
The real bummer is not just the increase in Apple One Premier pricing, but significant increases in the subscription pricing for all Apple services across the board. No matter which way you slice it, you’re paying about $3 more per month for all the top Apple services.
You can decide to downgrade and subscribe to only the services you really need individually if you price it out and it works in your favor (or you’re willing to eliminate a service or two – maybe you’re fine with Spotify and can cancel Apple Music or you’ve moved on to another fitness app). A downside to doing so is that each service appears as a different line item on your credit card bill. Plus, pricing for each service may go up at different times as well, which means crunching the numbers again to figure it out. (Chances are, however, that if and when they do go up again, Apple One pricing will do so in kind as well).
The good news is that you can adjust your subscription at any time, moving back and forth to suit your needs. For me, knowing pricing will go up to $44.95, I’ll still be sucking it up and keeping the plan unless I can do a major clean-up to avoid needing 2TB cloud storage space. I’ll encourage my son to check out Apple Arcade and access Apple News+ more since I’m paying for these services anyway. This is likely what Apple hopes subscribers will do: look for more value versus canceling services outright. Your experience might be different than mine, however, based on which services you value most.
In today’s subscription-based economy, with so many service prices going up, it’s a good time to do an inventory of your tech subscriptions and decide which ones you truly need and which might be worth cancelling.
If you’re mulling over whether to downgrade or not, you have until the day before the next billing cycle begins to make your change and avoid the automatic monthly renewal at the new fee.