Websites really reside in ‘the cloud’ of networked computers that pervade planet earth. iCloud is Apple’s cloud-connected service which stores and retrieves personal data. The question that remains unanswered by all except Apple is, “Is the cloud a feature or a business?”
Where Are The Numbers?
What is interesting about the so-called cloud business– cloud and network connected services– is that few are talking about how much money they make in the business of cloud services.
Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs has been quoted as saying cloud services– including iCloud– are features, not much of a business.
The silence of cloud giants Amazon and Microsoft who won’t divulge customer or revenue numbers indicates the cloud isn’t very profitable for any except computer component makers.
As a certified verified Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, and occasional Android device owner, I can state categorically that I use various cloud services regularly.
And I don’t pay for even one of them.
I keep my iCloud data storage below the minimum where Apple charges a price. Ditto for GoogleDrive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, Box, and others. All offer a free amount of cloud storage in the hopes you’ll become addicted and spend money each month for more storage.
So far, that hasn’t happened to me, and I doubt it has happened much to the great unwashed masses of Mac, Windows, iOS and Android device users. Cloud services offer enough storage for free that many of us just don’t need to pay.
In that scenario, iCloud is truly a feature, not a business (even though Apple has a price tag for additional storage), and that’s much the same for other cloud storage services. The ones who seem to be making money in the cloud storage service business are those who sell the hardware to cloud storage companies.
Everyone in the tech industry and tech media claim that everything about computing is moving to ‘the cloud.’ I’m not so sure. I see the trend, of course. Certain data transfers to and from the cloud, and stores well in the cloud. But not tens of thousands of songs or photos or movies. Those remain local and until speedy access to the cloud improves, and bandwidth rates go down, I’m not likely to keep much in the cloud. It’s also unlikely that cloud-based applications will supplant those I keep on my Mac and iPhone.
For now, Apple is right. iCloud is a feature. The cloud is more of a feature than a true business which generates profits for cloud service owners.