macbook pro

Which Apple One plan is right for me?

After announcing it back in September, Apple has quietly launched Apple One. Switching to Apple One is a no-brainer for a lot of Apple users like myself who are paying for multiple Apple subscriptions. However, as soon as I started doing the calculations to find out which Apple One plan is right for me, I realized, it was a bit more complicated than it initially seemed.

Perhaps you’re in the same boat as me, so I hope you’ll find some guidance on this post to choose an Apple One plan that is right for you.

In case you didn’t know, to check Apple One plans on your iPhone, you can go to Settings → tap on your Apple ID → tap Subscriptions → tap Get Apple One. You will see this prompt to view Apple One plans if it is launched in your region.

What I pay for already

The best way to calculate which Apple One plan is right for me is to start with what I already pay Apple for. Here’s a list of Apple services I’m currently subscribed to:

  • Apple Music – $9.99 per month
  • iCloud 200 GB – $2.99 per month
  • Apple News+ – $9.99 per month

That’s $22.97 I’m paying Apple per month. I also got Apple TV+ free with the purchase of my iPhone 11 last year. Apple recently extended the free period until February. So I’ve got it for free until then.

Why I want to continue Apple TV+

While there aren’t tons of content on Apple TV+ yet, I think it’s worth the $5 per month fee for the original content I’m getting. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed shows like The Morning Show, Defending Jacob, Home Before Dark, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, Tehran, and movies like Greyhound. There are tons more that are on my watchlist. I’d happily pay $5 a month to continue TV+.

So that brings the total monthly fee to $27.96 per month starting in February. Just $2 less than the monthly fee of the Apple One Premier plan.

Apple One Plans

Apple One plans
Apple One plans.

The biggest problem with the Apple One plans is that none of them lets you pick and choose. You can see Apple has included Arcade with all of its plans, but News+ — a subscription I find tremendous value in — is only available on the Premier plan.

Why I find value in Apple News+
Apple News+ magazines

Put simply, there is a TON — seriously, a TON — of content to read (They also added News+ Audio so there’s stuff to listen to, too!).

To be more specific, News+ gives me access to all the latest issues of popular magazines. I can read car magazines like Car and Driver and Motortrend; I can read the latest issues of National Geographic, Popular Mechanics, and Wired; I can also take a peek into the fashion and entertainment world through magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Entertainment Weekly.

Reading all of those magazines every month for just $9.99 is a steal for me. And that’s why I prefer to keep paying for Apple News+ subscription.

Apple’s inclusion of Arcade and TV+ with all three plans even though I’m sure they know not many people actually want these subscriptions is clever. It’s obvious they want to push it on people as these are new services that still haven’t taken off. So bundling them with all of the subscriptions means if you subscribe to even the lowest plan, you get access to Apple Arcade and TV+. What happens when you have access to them? You use them.

Since the Family plan includes all that I need (not Arcade, though. I don’t need that.) except News+, I calculated that if I pay for Family at $19.95 per month and News+ for $9.99 per month, I pay a total of $29.94 per month. At that price, I might as well get the Premier plan and enjoy access to all services, including a whopping 2 TB of iCloud storage, right?

Not quite. Because it gets more complicated.

How much I’d pay for existing subscriptions yearly

I found that if I start paying for some of these services on a yearly basis, I save a significant amount. Here’s a yearly price breakdown of all the services I intend to pay for:

  • Apple Music – $99.99
  • Apple News+ – $119.88 (No yearly options showed up for me, so no discounts here.)
  • iCloud 200 GB – $35.88 (No yearly option here either.)
  • Apple TV+ – $49.99

That’s a total of $305.74 per year.

Apple One Premier at $29.95 per month comes to $359.4 per year, a difference of $53.66 every year.

So, is there a way to justify spending $53.66 extra for the Premier plan? Let’s find out.

2 TB storage on iCloud

The most notable is the upgrade to iCloud 2 TB from my mere 200 GB as of now. But here’s the thing, I don’t know what to do with 2 TB on iCloud. I’ve only used about 50 GB out of my 200 GB plan at the moment. I already have 1 TB storage on OneDrive as part of my Microsoft 365 subscription. Google One gives me another 100 GB of storage.

Besides, it’s worth mentioning that iCloud is my least favorite cloud storage. It’s nowhere near as fast or reliable as some of its competitors like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox.

The only reason I pay for iCloud storage is its tight integration into the Apple system. My iPhone backups go to iCloud. So do many of the apps’ settings and data. The entire photo library is also synced to iCloud. So there’s value in paying for iCloud storage. But paying for 2 TB? Maybe not.

Apple Arcade

I got one month of Apple Arcade for free when I purchased the iPhone 11 last year. At the end of the free month, my feeling was that while the service had potential (ad-free games, with new ones being added every week), it wasn’t there yet. And some games felt repetitive as they unlocked new chapters every week in a shamelessly obvious bid to make sure you keep your subscription active to keep playing.

I was not amused. So I chose not to renew it.

The yearly fee becomes much more justified if I choose to get Apple Arcade. That means there’s only about a $4 dollar difference between what I pay on a yearly basis and what Apple One Premier would cost per year. But I’m still not sold on Apple Arcade yet.

Monthly subscriptions

Another small yet important thing to consider is that monthly billing, even if you end up paying more in a year than in an annual billing, is easier.

Instead of getting hit by a $100 renewal fee for a subscription, and then $49.99, then $49.99 again at different times of the year, getting spread out billing throughout the year In a timely interval means it’s easier and more predictable on the wallet. This might be the deciding factor that makes me get Apple One in the end.

Because if I keep all my subscriptions on a monthly basis, I pay $27.96 per month. For just $2 extra, I get much more on Apple One Premier. I get Apple Arcade, 2 TB storage, and access to the upcoming Fitness+ subscription. True, I don’t need them, but all of that for $2 per month is definitely tempting.

So, which Apple One plan is right for me?

It would seem that I have to go with the highest plan. Even though I don’t really want Fitness+, Arcade, and 2 TB of iCloud storage, all things considered, the Premier plan makes the most sense to me.

However, I would not subscribe right away. I still have free TV+ until February. I also just got three more months of Apple Arcade with the purchase of an iPad Pro. That means until February, I’m paying $22.97 for Music, News+, and iCloud 200 GB.

Three more months to decide whether Apple Arcade is worth it nearly a year after the service launched.

Starting in February, when it’s time to pay for TV+, I will start paying $27.96. That’s when I might make the switch to Apple One.

The free months I just got on Apple Arcade will help me give this service another go and decide for myself how it is now. Maybe there are legitimately good games now that I will love to keep playing. That would make paying for the Premier plan that much more worth it.

I will be sure to report back on how I feel Apple Arcade is right now after playing the current games for a month or two.

I take this opportunity to invite you to subscribe to my email newsletter using the form at the bottom of the post if you haven’t already!

I’ll also update this post come February with whatever I decide. But you can probably already guess what I’m going to do! 😅

Are you paying for any Apple subscriptions? Are you going to upgrade to any of the Apple One plans? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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