Update: Just for clarification, iCloud does not use up purchased storage space for songs, movies, television shows, e-books and apps bought in iTunes. This is also true for up to a thousand recent photos from your iOS devices or computers that use iCloud’s Photostream feature.
With the iCloud price tiers revealed yesterday, Federico Viticci of MacStories.net has done a nice job comparing Apple’s cloud storage offering to those of Dropbox and SugarSync, two of the most widely used cloud storage services out there. Apple is on par with Dropbox if you’re in a market for a 50GB storage in the cloud. The latter also has a 100GB option for $199 a year which Apple lacks. However, Apple beats them with 5GB free accounts versus a 2GB free option over at Dropbox. SugarSync tops both Apple and Google by giving you ten more gigabytes (for 60GB total) for your hundred bucks a year and their $150 a year for 100GB plan comes in cheaper than Dropbox ($199 a year) or Apple on a per-GB basis. In addition, SugarSync also offer 30GB and 60GB accounts and match Apple with free 5GB accounts.
It should be noted that Dropbox is the only truly cross-platform service. Dropbox provides a desktop client for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and utilizes a clever file handling mechanism which takes care of translating file and meta data differences among platforms. All services enable you to log in to a web interface to manage, upload and download your files on any Internet-enabled device. Of course, Apple’s offering is much more than a hard drive in the cloud as it sports seamless syncing of contacts, appointments, email messages, documents, photos and other data across desktop and mobile devices. iCloud also has the pretties web interface, unique services like Find My iPhone and rich web apps that mimic the appearance of their Mac and iPad counterparts down to pixel-level accuracy (video tour, screenshot gallery).