Steve jobs took the stage yesterday to announce a number of new innovations Apple is bringing to the consumer, but one in particular -- the iCloud -- experts believe will put profits in the company's forecasts.
Apple stocks rose on Tuesday in pre-market trading after introducing the new hosted-service architecture that it plans to integrate across all of its products. By mid-morning, shares were down 1.15 percent, or $3.77 to $333.40 on the Nasdaq, but analysts are expecting the new iCloud to bode well in the long-term.
Much more than just a simple back-up, sync or music streaming service, we consider iCloud a whole new, if not 'ultimate,' leg to Apple's ability to grow and leverage its booming iOS thin- client strategy, closed- loop iTunes relationship, and software-driven ecosystem, Caris & Co analyst Robert Cihra told clients.
The new service will allow users to keep their files and applications in sync across all their devices, from virtually anywhere there is Internet service.
Built from the ground up, the iCloud will replace Apple's MobileMe, the company's previously failed implementation of a cloud-based service.
iCloud stores your content in the cloud and wirelessly pushes it to all your device. It automatically uploads it, stores it, and pushes it to all your devices, Jobs explained to developers in San Francisco's Moscone Center.
One key strength that analysts are touting is the ability for the iCloud to synch with a user's iTunes account. This means Apple can quickly scan customers' digital music libraries in iTunes and mirror their collections on its own servers.
This automatic track mirroring is in sharp contrast to Amazon's Cloud Drive and Google's Music Beta digital lockers. Those services require users to upload their whole libraries for remote access -- a process that could take hours.
But beyond iTunes, the service allows for cloud-based processing of different types of media and data for apps.
In particular, we believe iCloud's ability to automatically and seamlessly integrate applications, data, photos, and video files across Apple's full line of iOS and MacOS Lion powered devices should drive increased customer loyalty, resulting in recurring software and hardware purchases, said Mike Walkley, Canaccord Genuity analyst.
Apart from iCloud, Apple introduced software upgrades at the conference, including Lion, its Mac OS X computer operating system and the next version of its mobile operating system, the iOS 5.
The new OS powers things like the iPhone, iPod touch, and the iPad.
Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt saw the new OS as a highly significant upgrade, as he believes it begins Apple's transition from a Mac-centric company to a cloud-centric company.