At the 2001 Macworld Expo in San Francisco, just before presenting iTunes to the world, Steve Jobs outlined Apple’s Digital Hub strategy. He discussed the new digital devices that people carried around with them: cellphones, cameras, PDAs, music players, and more. Jobs’ vision was that the Mac would become the digital hub, and that this would ensure the longevity of the personal computer.
But Apple’s strategy changed pretty quickly. The digital hub on the Mac never really took off, and was soon offloaded to what we now call the cloud. In successive iterations–iTools, MobileMe, .Mac, and now iCloud–Apple has built its products around services hosted in the cloud.
Mac and iOS device owners depend on iCloud. We use it for our music, our photos, our contacts, calendars, and reminders. We store our email in the cloud, as well as our notes and many of our files. And, critically, we back up our iOS devices to iCloud (though you can and should also back them up to your Mac using iTunes).
These services, once dependent on an annual subscription ($99 a year for MobileMe in the US; $149 for a family plan), are now free. But as the price dropped, so did the amount of storage allocated to users. From 20GB with MobileMe, to 10GB with .Mac, iCloud only offers 5GB per user. You can pay to get more storage, of course, and that’s how Apple makes some spare change. But only 5GB per user? Seriously?
Read the rest of the article on Macworld.