I agree. I believe the impact of cloud services within the era of mobile devices will be truly profound. However, given the depth of integration between Apple's hardware and software solutions and iCloud, it seems clear most users will end up requiring far more than 5GB of storage space.
(For more iCloud storage, users have to pay an annual fee of $20 for 10GB, $40 for 20GB and $100 for 50GB.)
It's good business for Apple, of course. After all, in the event it can get 300 million users to pony up even $20 per year then the company stands to trouser a rather pleasing $6 billion.
What's less ethical is that as the integration between its solutions and iCloud increases, it seems clear most users will eventually find themselves requiring more data than their allowance provides simply in order to use the profound new features Apple is introducing.
Given that at a system level, users can't assign different storage services to work with their devices in as integrated a fashion as that offered by iCloud, it seems many customers will have little choice but to pay this new Apple tax, particularly as iCloud integration becomes even more central to the user experience.
The impact of this is most keenly felt within Mail. Mail matters, it is important and sometimes critical to users. Despite this, Apple warns that should a user exceed their 5GB free storage once their account is downgraded (and fail to pay for a space upgrade): "iCloud Backup, Documents in the Cloud, and iCloud Mail will temporarily stop working."
Bottom line? Apple is effectively telling iCloud users to cough up the cash or switch to another service.
I'd be interested to find out just how much use Apple customers already make of iCloud services: how much data does a typical user already host on the service, and is 5GB sufficient to their needs.
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