Apple’s Fall Event Presents Its Own Challenges

Though there was no iPhone to be seen, Apple had plenty of bling to show off, some of which didn’t go down well with competitors old and new

Sept. 16, 2020

September is widely associated with three things:

  1. Back to school.
  2. The hit Green Day single from 2004. 
  3. Apple’s new iPhone.

Somehow, the only constant from that list this year is the Green Day song, with schools and colleges facing the threat of closure once more thanks to coronavirus and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) having no iPhone to show thanks to virus-related production delays. 

Never fear though as Apple had a host of products to replace its absentee flagship smartphone, including new Watches, iPad’s, and services. 

You can watch the official event release here if you are looking to get the complete low down. For now though, let’s talk about the two companies that may be less-than-impressed with new Apple services: 

Peloton (NASDAQ: PTON) and Spotify (NYSE: SPOT).

Peloton could be looking over its shoulder 

Everybody and their dog knows who Peloton is at this point, not least because the $2,500 stationary exercise bike subscription service seems like an insane concept, but also due to its whopping 172% earnings increase and now 3.1 million members. 

However, while Apple was showing off its goods last night, Peloton CEO John Foley was speaking at the company’s first-ever investor meeting. Some pesky attendees were clearly glued to the Apple event as Foley was then pushed to respond to Apple’s newly revealed ‘Fitness+’ streaming exercise service, to which he stated: 

“The biggest thing I will say is it’s quite a legitimization of fitness content, to the extent the biggest company in the word, a $2 trillion company, is coming in and saying fitness content matters,” Foley said. “It’s meaningful enough for Apple.”

One might think that when a CEO says a new competitor “legitimizes the space…” that it might be time to worry. However, Foley went on to reassure investors that Peloton had a legitimate edge over Apple in the fact that his company produces its own exercise equipment. This statement is true enough; just as Apple has a sticky ecosystem of product users, Peloton’s followers are fanatic in their own way and are evidence of its own stickiness.

Spotify still wants a bite of the Apple

Apple also unveiled its long-awaited Apple One subscription bundle, which will package Apple Music with other services like Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, and iCloud storage. 

The move has prompted yet another outcry from Apple Music rival, Spotify, which has long been outspoken against the tech giant’s App Store and anti-competitive practices. Giving a statement following Apple’s announcement, Spotify reiterated this sentiment:

“Once again, Apple is using its dominant position and unfair practices to disadvantage competitors and deprive consumers by favoring its own services. We call on competition authorities to act urgently to restrict Apple’s anti-competitive behavior, which if left unchecked, will cause irreparable harm to the developer community and threaten our collective freedoms to listen, learn, create, and connect.”

The streaming service also filed a complaint with the European Commission’s antitrust regulators back in March 2019, arguing that Apple Music has an “unfair advantage” over rivals. This investigation is still ongoing, but in the meantime, Apple keeps plowing forward, with a new iPhone expected to be unveiled next month.

MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently hold long positions in companies mentioned above. Read our full disclosure policy here.