March 25: Apple’s special event expectations

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The country has seen the number of smartphone users grow nationwide from 199 million in 2015 to 340 million at the end of 2018, according to eMarketer.

Netflix now offers three subscription plans, starting at Rs. 500 and going up to Rs. 800, making the service much expensive than its competitors in the country, most of which cost less than Rs. 1,000 a year or Rs. 200 a month.

The Basic Netflix subscription comes at a price of Rs 500 per month and offers to stream on one screen in standard definition where viewers can download videos on only a single device. This move could help attract a potential set of new subscribers while retaining its existing offerings.

Netflix now offers two other subscription plans in India - a standard plan costing Rs 650 per month where users get two concurrent screens and the premium plan for Rs 800 per month that offers four screens.

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Although Netflix has recently raised its prices in the United States, the company is trying something different in other markets.

It's worth noting that Netflix has confirmed it's testing this program in India - as it did in Malaysia and some other countries past year. Sent to dozens of Hollywood executives, producers and actors ahead of Monday's announcement, the notes have heightened speculation about the tech giant's ambitious plans to take on Netflix with a $1 billion+ (€879 million) investment in original entertainment. On the pricing front, Netflix's argument is interesting. As of last November, Netflix boasted 137 million subscribers globally, and its Asia subscribers have already surpassed the 58 million US users. The mobile only plan is being trialled at INR250 ($3.63) per month. As of now, compared to Netflix's Rs 500/month plan, other competitors in the market offer plans starting Rs 99 - Hotstar for Rs 199/month, Amazon Prime Video for Rs 129/month, and ZEE5 at Rs 99/month, and ALT Balaji at Rs 100 per three months. For example, if Showtime is available as part of Apple's Premium TV Bundle, will users still be able to purchase Showtime separately, and if so, is Apple going to promote this as an option - such as on a new "TV Storefront" or simply leave it as something that users can discover for themselves. All of these services, moreover, offer significantly discounted annual plans.

Netflix has also been ramping up its India content.

Variety also reports that we will see "show clips of [Apple's] original series" at the March 25 event, but that the shows themselves won't be released until later this year.

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