Straits Herald September 14, 2019

Disney chief Bob Iger resigned from Apple’s board of directors as the companies are poised to launch rival online streaming services, according to a filing Friday with US regulators.

Iger’s departure came the same day that the iPhone maker announced that its Apple TV+ subscription service with a budding library of original content will go live internationally on November 1, according to paperwork filed by Apple with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Apple unveiled iPhone 11 models this week with a price cut for the most basic models while also laying out plans for streaming and gaming services, as it bids to weather the slump in the global smartphone market.

Apple’s announcements appeared to be aimed at emphasizing value as the company looks to reduce its dependence on smartphones and tie digital content and other services to its devices.

Apple TV+ service will launch November 1 in more than 100 countries at $4.99 per month to compete against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon. It promises a “powerful and inspiring lineup of original shows, movies and documentaries.”

Apple said customers who purchase an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac will get the first year of the service for free.

As for Disney, its Disney+ online streaming service will launch November 12 in the US, Canada and the Netherlands, before rolling out worldwide.

Its vast lineup of films and television shows will include three live-action Star Wars series, including Ewan McGregor’s return as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Iger told investors on a recent earnings call that “nothing is more important to us” than the platform, which will compete in a crowded marketplace against Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, HBO Max and more.

As well as offering Disney’s enormous back catalog, including all animated films and Pixar movies within its first year, it will feature a cornucopia of newly commissioned shows. It will cost $6.99 a month in the US. – AFP