Thursday, June 23, 2011

ICloud: What is Steve Jobs up to?

Apple introduced its free iCloud Service recently with more oohs and ahhs going to its new OS Lion. However, the real story is iCloud. First, Apple is about to make The Cloud mainstream. With its ability to sync all your Apple devices, Apple users of any two or more devIces will soon discover that multi device syncing with the cloud is a Must Have for their digital lives. Credit Apple with once again showing how technology can be delivered seemlessly and intuitively. But is iCloud really free?

Here is why the candy man is so generous.
First, iCloud will breed loyalty, stickiness and make new Apple purchases extremely tempting. Once, we enjoy the reality of finding our data, email, music and software on any device, we are not likely to want to buy android and microsoft based products which will not work with iCloud. So we can increase Apple's upsell purchase forecast across the board. And that is all gravy as its selling more of the same products to existing users. Also, go ahead and increase the new user forecast for ARPU (avg revenue per user), the holy grail of higher multiples.

It gets better. You see, more corporate users are making personal decisions to purchase Apple products. However, they keep exasperating corporate CIOs by taking the darn things to work, and connecting them to the corporate data farm and syncing their mail, attachments and contacts. Well remember, Steve is now offering to sync that same data to his Cloud. Isn't that convenient. So, how long will it take for confidential information and personal digital preferences from most of America, including its corporate data to end up in Steve's cloud? Once its all there, how will it be protected? Or Used? Who will use it and how? Will we soon be discussing Steve's cloud like we have been Google's surfing data farm?

Of course we will hear all the promises of best security etc, but who are we protecting it from? Hackers or Steve's product marketing team. All that data is so tempting. Even stripped of its personal names, just think how well Apple could focus market to you with that data.

It is likely that by the time any regulators wake up to the possibility it'll be too late. Btw: I bet there are alot of government agencies as well who wouldn't mind gaining access to it. Subpoena or not. Some might not even mind Steve putting it conveniently all in one place.

So, in summary, something to think about. Overall, I think its a brilliant plan. Great corporate drama. I can't wait for the movie. It'll make Social Network look like a walk in the park.

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