Barclays Capital believes that iCloud could be Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) most important new service since the launch of iTunes in 2003.
Last week, we met with Apple executives at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, including CEO Tim Cook and Peter Oppenheimer (SVP & CFO). As usual, Apple did not make any pronouncements about new products or guidance, said Ben Reitzes, an analyst at Barclays Capital.
In a report 'iCloud, China and the Unknown = Big Opportunities,' we took a detailed look at 5 key issues that investors are asking about – the cash, the iPad momentum, iPhone potential, the 'next big thing' and the potential of iCloud, added Reitzes.
However, Reitzes still believes Apple is very optimistic about the general product pipeline and the company’s market position. He found the meeting particularly valuable in terms of getting a general sense of Tim Cook’s leadership style.
He believes Tim Cook clearly understands how important iCloud is to Apple’s future. A truly reliable cloud service that frees customers from wires should foster more customer loyalty and convenience, in his view.
Furthermore, iCloud fully monetizes users' investments in iTunes over the years -- and through iTunes Match, the users' previous music investments not through iTunes -- across all devices, said Reitzes.
Only Apple can currently deliver this type of convenience and integration. Reitzes agrees with Tim Cook that iCloud is profound. It basically makes the cloud the digital hub -- not the Mac or PC.
As a result, we believe that iCloud is the 'sneaky' product launch of 2011, which could actually drive some of the most long-term value to the company. Furthermore, iCloud lays the groundwork in our opinion for a foray not only into TV’s, but devices we haven’t thought of yet, said Reitzes.
Apple's iCloud is a cloud storage and cloud computing service, which was announced on June 6 at the Apple WWDC by Steve Jobs. The service allows users to store data such as music, photos, applications, documents, Safari and Internet Explorer bookmarks, reminders, notes, iBooks and contacts, as well as serving as a platform for Apple's email servers and calendars.
iCloud stores the data on remote computer servers for download to multiple devices such as iPhones, iPods, iPads and personal computers running Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows.