Apple News+ stumbled because it’s the service most outside Apple’s control

Apple’s big push into services this year was doomed for disaster—at least if you considered Apple News+ representative of what was to come. Many of the problems I hated back then remain central to the experience: the mishmash of PDFs with digital content, the hassle of searching for publications, and the lack of real reasons to give up many direct subscriptions to notable magazines. Seven months on, the best thing about it is that it’s a relatively cheap way to read The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. With services, Apple News+ suggested last spring, Apple was biting off more than the famous hardware maker could chew.

Today, Apple’s trouble with its paid news service looks like an anomaly. Apple TV+ may not (In fact, I’m surprised to find myself looking slightly more forward to  than to those for Disney+’s phenomenal epic .) Apple Arcade is an unqualified success, at least judging from the number of people chatting about it on social media. For almost every Friday since launch, Apple has cranked out one or more fantastic games that often release alongside console counterparts and play well on every screened device in the Apple ecosystem. Aside from some grumbling that Apple Arcade is only available on Apple devices, I’ve seen virtually no outright hate for the service. And then, of course, we have years-old Apple Music, which now boasts over 60 million subscribers and faces lawsuits from rival Spotify aimed at keeping its rapid expansion in check. Along with iTunes, it served as early proof that Apple could dominate in an arena that wasn’t strictly related to hardware.

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