Finally, it’s official: Apple yesterday sent out invitations for its long-awaited media event on 25 March at the Apple Park Campus.
The company used the “It’s Show Time” slogan for the event, which seems to confirm expectations that it will be more about services than about hardware. Most observers expect the firm to announce a streaming television service and a new Apple News service.
Apple will probably make an announcement about the TV service at the event, but the launch date won’t be until later in the year. The company has more than 20 original television shows lined up, quite a few of which have been cast.
Household names such as Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner have received invitations to the event.
The Apple News service will bring optional paid subscriptions that will allow users unlimited access to magazines and paid content from, among others, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times for $9.99 per month.
It’s unclear at this stage exactly which news sites will be included. Apple wants a 50% revenue share, which is reportedly acceptable to magazines, but news sites that have their own independent revenue streams are reluctant to sign up.
So far, it appears unlikely that Apple will release any new hardware products at the 25 March event. The seventh-generation iPad, iPad mini 5, seventh-generation iPod touch and updated AirPods are all in the pipeline, but they will probably only be released later.
Apple has posted an announcement on its main site as well as the Events website saying that the “It’s Show Time” event will be streamed live on its website and also via the events app on Apple TV.
After the event, Apple will probably release iOS 12.2 to provide the technical backbone for its subscription news service.