Apple iCloud: Everyone’s Excited. But, Will it be a Dud?

Image courtesy of MacRumors
Steve Jobs is scheduled to kick of Apple’s annual developer conference (WWDC) in San Francisco next week Monday (June 6). One of the few known announcements is Apple’s new cloud play – iCloud.

CNET and other sources report that Apple has signed deals with the four largest record companies that may include license to stream their music. They note that the service will start with a digital storage (locker) service and add streaming later.

Apple signs Universal Music to iCloud

That said, there are a lot of specifics that we do not know about: How much storage will be offered? What will it cost? What content can be stored? MacRumors notes a few pieces of pricing related information:

iCloud Free Trial, $25 Per Year, and Ads?

– A free trial will be offered to people who buy music from iTunes. This is the same strategy Amazon has applied to its CloudDrive service. Buying any album, including the 99 cent Lady Gaga MP3 album last week, gave the purchaser 20GB of storage for one year.

– The service will cost about $25 per year. However, no storage figure is associated with this price.

– Advertising will be involved with iCloud. There is no indication if this is in addition to the $25 annual fee or in place of it.

However, just as Google has had problems with its attempts to enter the Social Media arena, Apple’s Achiles Heel has been cloud services. Its Mobile Me offering is anemic at best (as was its predecessor .Mac). The beta to provide a cloud solution for its iWorks office suite is half-baked. And, getting data in and out of iPhones and iPads has essentially become the territory of services like Dropbox and SugarSync.

Will iCloud be the talk of the tech world next week because it is magical and revolutionary or because it is yet another Apple Cloud dud? We’ll find out in a few days.

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