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Trending! Apple Unveils TV Streaming Platform And Credit Card

Trending! Apple Unveils TV Streaming Platform And Credit Card

Apple has unveiled its new TV streaming platform, Apple TV+, at a star-studded event in California.

Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey were among those who took to the stage at Apple's headquarters to reveal their involvement in TV projects commissioned by the tech giant.

The platform will include shows from existing services like Hulu and HBO.

Apple also announced that it would be launching a credit card, gaming portal and enhanced news app.

The event was held in California and Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was clear from the start that the announcements would be about new services, not new devices.

It is a change of direction for the 42-year-old company.

Oprah Winfrey spoke of the potential of a book club on Apple TV+

There had been much anticipation about Apple's predicted foray into the TV streaming market, dominated by the likes of Amazon and Netflix.

The Apple TV+ app was unveiled by Steven Spielberg and will launch in the autumn.

Spielberg will himself be creating some material for the new platform, he said.

Other stars who took to the stage included Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Big Bird from Sesame Street.

The app will be made available on rival devices for the first time, coming to Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio smart TVs as well as Amazon's Firestick and Roku.

The subscription fee was not announced, and notably absent from the launch line-up was Netflix, which had already ruled itself out of being part of the bundle.

"The test for Apple will be, can new content separate them out from their competitors and can they commission and deliver on fresh new content that can reach audiences in the same way that Stranger Things has for Netflix for example?" commented Dr Ed Braman, an expert in film and production at the University of York.

Apple Card

The physical version of the card is made of titanium and does not have a card number or signature space on it.

The Apple Card credit card will launch in the US this summer.

There will be both an iPhone and physical version of the card, with a cashback incentive on every purchase.

The credit card will have no late fees, annual fees or international fees, said Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey.

It has been created with the help of Goldman Sachs and MasterCard.

News stand

The firm also revealed a news service, Apple News+, which will include more than 300 magazine titles including Marie Claire, Vogue, New Yorker, Esquire, National Geographic and Rolling Stone.

The LA Times and the Wall Street Journal will also be part of the platform, the firm said.

It added that it will not track what users read or allow advertisers to do so.

Apple News+ will cost $9.99 (£7.50) per month and is available immediately in the US and Canada. It will come to Europe later in the year.

Unlike TV+, the news platform will only be available on Apple devices.

An Apple TV app on Roku and Amazon Fire TV players is really kind of nuts. So why then keep Apple News+ a Mac and iOS-only proposition? Does Apple want to meet paying subscribers on the devices of their choice or not?

— Rob Pegoraro (@robpegoraro) March 25, 2019

Apple Arcade will offer 100 games not available elsewhere.

A new games platform, Apple Arcade, will offer over 100 exclusive games from the app store which will all be playable offline, in contrast with Google's recently announced streaming platform Stadia.

It will be rolled out across 150 countries in the autumn but no subscription prices were given.

in 2018 analyst firm IHS Markit valued the global gaming market on iOS, Apple's operating system, at $33.5bn.

There is space within that market for a platform like Apple Arcade which is not financed by in-app purchases or advertising, said IHS director of games research Piers Harding-Rolls.

"Apple's decision to move up the games value chain with a new, curated subscription service and to support the development of exclusive games for its Arcade platform is a significant escalation of the company's commitment to the games market," he said.

"Apple joins the other technology companies Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon and others in investing directly in games content and services."


Apple is making an aggressive push into several markets in which, thanks to sheer scale alone, it immediately becomes a massive player.

Its TV service has been long in the making, and Apple has amassed a roster of big stars, as expected.

A bigger test will be how creative those ideas will be - a lot of Netflix's success has been about finding new talent, not throwing money at already famous names.

I also have reservations about how many boundaries Apple will be prepared to push with its creative endeavours: if it's as controlling with its television as it is with its brand, it will create a catalogue bereft of risk-taking.

But TV is just a small part of what Apple is going for here. It wants (and needs) to turn its devices into the portal through which you do everything else - TV/film, gaming, reading the news... and you'd presume other things in the very near future.

The announcement of a credit card shows how far Apple is prepared to go to make sure life is experienced through your iPhone.

As Oprah put it on stage: "They're in a billion pockets, y'all."
Minimum Wage: Buhari Receives Report

Minimum Wage: Buhari Receives Report

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday received the report of the Technical Advisory Committee on the implementation of the new minimum wage at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The bill, aiming to increase the minimum wage to N30,000 has passed third reading at the National Assembly.

Prior to the general elections, government had settled for N30,000 as minimum wage for federal workers. State workers were to go home with N27,000 after consulting the National Council of State members comprising former Presidents, military Heads of State including former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court.

The National Assembly however, pegged the wage bill across all categories of workers at N30,000.

Receiving the report of the Bismarck Rewane-led committee, President Buhari assured panel members  that  government will expeditiously review the report.

According to him, some members of the committee would be engaged during the review.

He said: “We will review this report expeditiously. In the process, we may need to engage some members of your Committee, I therefore implore you to make your services available whenever we may call on you.”

The Presidential Technical Advisory Committee on the Implementation of the National Minimum Wage (PTAC) was inaugurated on  January 9, with a mandate to advise the government on how best to fund, in a sustained manner, the additional costs of implementing the imminent increase in the National Minimum Wage.

Buhari said: “You were also asked to advise on the consequential increases in salaries and allowances for other employees, without worsening our already difficult fiscal condition, and without adversely impacting the nation’s development goals as set out in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

“The Committee was also required to propose a work plan and modalities for implementation of the salary increase.”

He pointed out that the Technical Committee was “chaired by an economist and businessman, Bismarck Rewane, and has other experienced economists and administrators from the private sector, as well as relevant officials in  government. It also has a representative of the Governors’ Forum.

“I am very pleased that the committee took on this important national assignment with all seriousness.” Buhari said.

The President thanked the PTAC Chairman  and members for their patriotism, hard work, commitment and sacrifices.

He said: “I understand that you have worked tirelessly to ensure that you deliver the report before we receive the Minimum Wage Bill from the National Assembly.

“Let me also thank the Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning, for coordinating the work of the Committee as well as the Budget Office of the Federation; the National Incomes, Salaries and Wages Commission; the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation; the Federal Inland Revenue Service; the National Bureau of Statistics and the Central Bank of Nigeria, which provided strong support to the Committee in the course of the assignment,” he said.

The President also praised the support received from private sectors, particularly, Access Bank Plc; PricewaterhouseCoopers; KPMG Advisory Services; Financial Derivatives Company and Economic Associates for their contributions to the successful conclusion of the committee’s work.

It was feared in some quarters that implementation of the new minimum wage may cause another crisis between the executive and the organised labour following the discovery that the budgetary provision of about N150 billion in the 2019 Appropriations was grossly inadequate.

It was gathered that the Federal Government requires between N250 billion and N300 billion annually to pay the new  wage.

Giving the terms of reference to the committee, the President had hinted that after the new minimum wage get passed into law, government would go into negotiations for salary review for all the workers already earning above the new minimum wage.

The President had in his remarks stated that it was important to properly prepare the minds of those public servants involved so that they would not be taken unawares when it gets to time for implementation.

Members of the committee included Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Dr Babatunde Fowler, ex-FIRS boss, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, Dr Ayo Teriba, Chief Executive Officer and Prof. Akpan Ekpo among others.

From the public sector were the Director General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, who is the secretary of the committee, representative of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Richard Egbule, Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack and  Permanent Secretary General Service Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun Adekunle.

Others were Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Olajide Odewale, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Labour Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, and Solicitor General Of the Federation and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice Mr. Dayo Apata.

Also in the committee were Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Office of the Vice President, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Economic Policy), Dr. Joseph Nnanna, Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, Director General Debt Management Officer, Ms. Patience Oniaga, Director General National Institute of Social and Economic Research, Dr. Folarin Gbadebo-Smith, Statistician General, National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale, Mrs. Aisha Hamad, Mamman Garba and Tunde Lawal.