October 12, 2011 by staff
Apple iCloud, Apple Inc. ‘s icloud service, part of the launch of a product for the first time since October 05 death of Steve Jobs, can cement the loyalty of millions of consumers attracted by mobile devices pioneer Jobs in the last decade.
The service automatically store pictures, songs and other files on servers in data centers from Apple, and synchronize with all the accessories of a client. A photo taken with an iPhone in seconds appears on a user’s iPhone, iPod Touch, Apple set-top box TV and any personal computer with iTunes.
The move intensifies competition with Google Inc. ‘s Android and other mobile devices rivals making it more difficult to change out of Apple products, said Bill Whyman, technologyanlyst with the International Investment Group Strategy & . If icloud works as advertised – something that the previous line of Apple products have not always achieved – Files from the comfort of not having to upload, download or sync can lead to many customers to buy exclusively from Apple, he said.
“Icloud could raise switching costs for the customer, and barriers to entry for competitors,” said Whyman. “That’s very powerful.”
Walter Price, a portfolio manager at RCM Capital Management, has estimated that icloud could increase Apple’s market value in the U.S. and 100 billion to the U.S. and 500 billion, reflecting the impact of service hardware sales and purchases of songs, movies and other media. The company’s Cupertino, California, and business is more valuable in the world with a market capitalization of U.S. and 371 100 000 000.
“It just works”
Icloud is included free along with an update of Apple iOS mobile software, which is available to customers on Wednesday. The service marks the most ambitious effort to expand Apple’s Internet-based operations beyond the iTunes store base, which distributes the songs, TV shows, audiobooks, and mobile applications to a device at a time.
“The integrity of synchronized devices is driving us crazy,” said Jobs, then executive director, when he presented icloud in Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. With the new service, said, “Everything happens automatically and there is nothing new to learn. It all works.”
To be successful, Apple will have to improve on their mixed record in online services. Since Jobs returned to the company in 1997, the company introduced a number of features of the Internet. Although iTunes and the App Store took off, some are quickly forgotten, as a site of publishing Apple staff to recommend websites called iReview. An online storage service called iDisk also not caught on. And a synchronization service called MobileMe suffered high-profile outages and performance problems after its introduction in 2008.
If icloud is a success, could help Apple to build thick walls around their carefully controlled ecosystem of devices, at a time when Google, Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are trying to lock users into their own technologies.
Price predicts that icloud will magnify the power of Apple as a content distributor. If more customers buy only Apple devices, which is more likely to get their music, television and other forms of media from Apple – rather than Netflix Inc., Amazon and Comcast Corp.
Icloud is one of the many features in the new mobile operating system from Apple, called iOS 5. The software also includes a service called IMessage that allows Apple customers to send text messages to each other. And iOS 5 includes improved integration with Twitter Inc., a service to view the location of IOS devices, and cards for people who want to create greeting cards and have Apple print and mail.
Icloud itself consists of a handful of other free services. Photo Gallery A call automatically stores a user’s most recent 1,000 images taken and is synchronized with the client device IOS. Another ensures that all computers have the latest version of the notes and spreadsheets created with Apple’s iWork applications.
Apple charge and 25 for a party called the iTunes service, which allows music fans to automatically sync songs in your iTunes library were not purchased from Apple. Apple also charged for extra storage on their servers, offering the first 5 gigabytes for free.
Icloud is a risk, if necessary, move for Apple, said Stephen Baker, ananlyst at NPD Group. One of the challenges: Customers will have to balance the convenience of icloud to the cost of running their rates of monthly bandwidth. For now, many of icloud services only work over Wi-Fi networks. If the company wants customers to also synchronize files across mobile networks – when away from an access point Wi-Fi – “someone will have to pay for the bandwidth,” said Baker.
If Apple makes it difficult for consumers to move files to compete with online services, icloud could also undermine the rights of users to their own information, said Jonathan Zittrain, cofounder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
“The fact that Apple in Silicon Valley does not mean that you must run the Hotel California”, where the data come in, but you can never go, he said.
Then there is the risk of disruption, said Trip Chowdhry, ananlyst with Global Equities Research. Not having access to the iTunes store because of a power outage is an inconvenience. The loss of family photos or documents of the company is much more serious, he said. Millions of consumers can try icloud, but quickly return to use existing services such as Gmail from Google Inc. or Dropbox, if it is not easy and reliable from the beginning.
“There is no second chance to do well,” he said.
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