In recent years, Apple has held a March event focused on its iPads; therefore it would be strange not to have some hardware announcements at the current event — especially when the updated version of the company's entry-level US$329 iPad would seemingly be the perfect place to read subscription-based news.
Apple's spin on a “Netflix for news” has been expected since the company bought a news subscription aggregator, Texture, last year. And this new service addition suggests the company would offer premium news and magazine subscriptions in a single bundle, like what Netflix and Hulu provide for TV and movies. Images portraying the service were found in an iOS 12.2 beta update last month, hinting that Apple may be close to launch.
Apple is rumored to be planning a $10-a-month subscription service for its News app that would include stories tucked behind paywalls.
Although, it may seem odd to hold a hardware-free event, but it makes absolute sense considering the recent shifts in Apple's corporate strategy when the company has placed a greater emphasis on boosting revenue from its services division, which includes its subscription-based Apple Music as well as other services like the iOS App Store, Apple Pay and iCloud. These channels have become increasingly crucial as iPhone sales, which make up the most substantial chunk of Apple's revenue, have begun to sputter especially in China.
This report also comes hours after The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Apple was having some issues during the negotiations with top news publishers over the terms of the revenue splits for the upcoming service. Apple is looking to partner with publishers on a revenue model that would allow readers to pay around $10 per month to read content that is paywalled, but with Apple proposing a staggering 50% split with publishers based on how much their articles were read.