It’s no secret that MobileMe hasn’t exactly lived up to Apple’s expectations. Sure, they’ve been able to keep the cloud running by selling an estimated hundreds of thousands subscriptions to the $99 a year service, but that’s peanuts by Apple’s standards. According to RBC Capital Markets, MobileMe will pale in comparison to iCloud, which is due this Fall.
Based on a survey of 1,500 iPhone users polled from June 7 to 14, they found out that iCloud could reach 150 million users, or three-quarters of the 200 million iOS devices that Apple sold as of this month. That’s a lot: For comparison, Twitter has 300 million users and Google’s Gmail service has some 200 million users. The price is right, that’s for sure. Apple’s iOS 5-to-iOS 5 messaging service dubbed iMessage – another freebie – will be a sure-fire hit for 73 percent of respondents who plan on using this feature. The report notes that iMessage might create a new halo effect:
The iMessage service could boost loyalty among existing iPhone users and convince the 60 million iPod Touch users to pick the iPhone over Android or other competing phones if they upgrade.
iTunes Match? Nearly one-third of respondents, or thirty percent, pledged to use the service to scan-and-match their legally purchased digital music, ripped CDs and even low-quality pirated songs (and upgrading them to 256Kbps versions). At $25 a year per user, this means a cool $1.5 billion annually in iTunes Match revenue alone, shared among record labels, artists and Apple.
Wonder what’s in store for iCloud down the road?
According to RBC, Apple will gradually introduce new iCloud services, including: audio and video streaming, photo and video sharing, hosted Time Machine backups, document management and storage, to name a few. Let’s not forget that by keeping all your data iCloud will be able to learn stuff about you, such as plot your social graph. This intelligence should in turn pave the way to more advanced capabilities. In short, all devices in the iCloud ecosystem will just work, which will “enhance loyalty and stickiness of Apple’s customers, helping defend against threats from Android, helping grow a defensible install base of users who continually upgrade to next generation Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods”, the report noted. There’s also fine print: Many who plan on syncing their devices to iCloud will soon use up the allotted 5GB free storage because data from third-party apps like GarageBand or iMovie can add up quickly. Honestly, Apple has added storage upgrade choices in the new iCloud section of the Settings app in iOS 5 for a good reason. And once your iCloud storage is full, you’ll receive this email from Apple warning you that your devices will no longer sync and your email will bounce unless you upgrade.