Apple and Cloud computing
Cloud computing has been garnering much attention recently; everyone seems to be offering their own cloud services, whether they’re providing video streaming, online file storage or even entire software packages through the cloud. Though Apple hasn’t yet rolled out their cloud services, they’re already set up to take the lead in the consumer cloud market through iCloud.
This promises to be a digital hub for a user’s content. Their recent 84% increase in brand value from 2010 to 2011, as reported by BrandZ, has seen them eclipse Google as the most valuable brand on the planet, giving credence to the thought that the company will emerge as the leader in the consumer cloud model. Their various devices and services, including mobile devices, digital stores and more traditional laptops and desktops, are set to provide consumers with the cloud-based lifestyle they’ve been dreaming of since the Internet took shape.
Aside from the rumored iCloud-based iPhone for emerging markets, the basics of how iOS devices are used won’t change. Apps, settings, contacts and media will still reside on the device, but any changes in the files–or purchase of new apps or media–will result in synchronization across all devices owned by that user. The fact that all content on a device is tied with a specific user account will make it easier for users to manage their digital purchases.
iTunes, the iOS app store and the OS X app store all provide easy access to applications and media for Apple users, while showcasing the company’s dedication to a cloud-centric digital life.
As discussed in an article comparing iCloud to Google’s services, Apple’s approach to the cloud revolves around apps, synching data from iOS, OSX and Windows apps with multiple devices, rather than requiring all the devices to access the same documents online. Ownership isn’t tied to a specific installation or disc; rather, customers purchase access to a program and are allowed to use it from whatever platform they wish.
Apple’s laptop and desktop computers haven’t remained unscathed by the cloud revolution. On the contrary, Apple has shifted its entire software library to the cloud, even for its major OS releases.
Users can now purchase, download and install new software from anywhere they have Internet access. Also, when iCloud is rolled out users will be able to wirelessly sync all of their media and files among all of their Apple devices, laptop and desktop computers included.
Apple’s recent brand valuation demonstrates that the technology giant is fully capable of establishing dominance in the consumer cloud computing market, despite the fact that Google and Amazon have been in the field for some time.
The main draw for consumers will be the ability to synchronize their digital lifestyle across all platforms without having to juggle multiple services. Having one unified platform that will enable seamless integration with their mobile and desktop devices will certainly drive users to further Apple adoption and brand loyalty, while showing the world the power of Apple and the viability of the cloud as an end-user service.