In brief: Apple wants to capture emerging markets with its subscription services, and TV Plus is no exception. Indian customers will be able to enjoy the service for only 99 rupees or $1.40 per month, compared to $4.99 in the US. The iPhone 11 starts at a lower price than its predecessor, which might be a coincidence -- but Indians buying a new Apple device will enjoy one year of TV Plus for free.
One of the highlights of the recent iPhone 11 event was the announcement of Apple Arcade and TV Plus. The company took everyone by surprise with the two subscription services that each cost only $4.99 and could potentially disrupt the global streaming market.
It turns out Apple wants to undercut its competitors in India as well, by offering TV Plus for 99 rupees -- which is roughly equivalent to $1.40 -- per month. Bloomberg says this will include thousands of movies that users can buy or rent when the service goes live on November 1. The $1.40 price is cheaper than Amazon and Netflix offers in the country, even as the two are trying their best to capture the developing market.
There are an estimated 500 million Indians who are connected to the Internet, but those who use Apple devices are still on the minority. The company has been trying to make its products more affordable by assembling them locally, so maybe they'll be able to woo more people to buy them by adding value with affordable access to content subscriptions.
Back in July, Netflix launched a mobile-only streaming plan for India that's priced at 199 rupees or $2.80 per month. Amazon offers an even sweeter deal with its Prime Video service at 129 rupees or $1.80 per month, but even that is a far cry from local streaming services, which Bloomberg says can cost as little as 29 rupees or 40 cents per month.
Currently iPhones account for a mere 1.6% share of all phones in India, and Apple will have to add some Indian originals to make TV Plus a more attractive option. As noted by LiveMint, Netflix and Amazon have already invested in local talent to create original shows, and Disney+ subsidiary Hotstar is working on dubbing content and adding subtitles in Indian languages.