Apple CEO Steve Jobs will shake off medical leave slumber to appear at the Worldwide Developers' Conference (WWDC 2011) in San Francisco on June 6 to unveil the latest version of Mac OS X, or the Lion, and the iCloud Music streaming service. The confirmation by Apple that Jobs will make the keynote address on the opening day of WWDC 2011 brought cheer to millions of Apple investors and buoyed stocks.
For Apple, the launch of iCloud is of high strategic importance and the presence of Steve Jobs at the launch underscores the weight of the moment for Apple which earlier made three unsuccessful or partly successful attempts at music streaming service.
While announcing the launch of the upcoming cloud services offering and Mac OS X known as Lion, Apple also confirmed for the first time that the much-anticipated music streaming service, based on iOS 5, will be called iCloud.
However, Apple had no word on whether there would be any new announcement regarding the iPhone 5 launch at the annual developer conference.
There have been robust rumors that iCloud would be launched soon to replace the MobileMe service which never really got going for Apple.
After the announcement of Jobs' attendance at the WWDC 2011 was made, Apple stocks ended up three percent at US$347.83, a gain of $10.42. What really enthrals Apple investors is the fact that Steve Jobs is healthy enough to attend the flagship apple event. Jobs, who had been treated for pancreatic cancer since 2004, has been on his second long-term medical leave since January.
Apple stocks have taken a hammering every time Jobs' health worries emerged. For Apple the health of its CEO is perhaps the most important pointer towards future successes, more so than in any other company in the world. Jobs had not attended the 2009 WWDC.
Now, Jobs is apparently intent on making his mark over the launch of the iCloud. The tech giant has high hopes on iCloud as it comes after a series of flop shows in the music cloud service, starting with iDisk in 2000. It was followed up with the .Mac two years later and then overhauled thoroughly yet again in 2008 and presented as MobileMe. But this was discontinued in February.
It was recently revealed in a book that Jobs had lost cool after the MobileMe launch, and snapped at executives who apparently failed to launch a winning combination.
There is probably more at stake now what with competitors Google and Amazon came on top of Apple, have gone ahead in the game, having launched their own music lockers, Music Beta and CloudDrive respectively.
According to Wall Street Journal, Apple has partnership agreements in place with Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI. Apple is also expected to strike a deal with Universal Music Group as well.
Through iCloud customers can access music files from any Mac OS X or iOS device, with the ability to wirelessly sync files across devices.
For some time, Apple has been in the process of putting up its cloud infrastructure in place. It has been giving final touches to its $1 billion data center in North Carolina. The new data center is five times the size of its existing data center in Newark. The North Carolina facility measures 500,000 square feet compared to Newark's 107,000 square feet.