Amazon and Apple Take Fight to the Cloud
While yesterday’s introduction of its new iPhone 4S was seen as the big announcement of the day, it was not necessarily the biggest news of the day from Apple. New CEO Tim Cook also announced that the company was rolling out its iCloud service on Oct. 12, bringing it directly up against Amazon.com, which last week introduced its Kindle Fire and made a push for consumers to move their computer files to its cloud service.
“A major battle is going on among Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft for consumer Internet dominance,” Jason Manyard, an analyst with Wells Fargo, told Dow Jones Newswires. “The battle is about the control of data.”
Apple is counting on moving owners of its various devices to its cloud service. The service will go online next week as a free software update for Apple device owners. One of the major selling points is that it will automatically sync songs bought from iTunes as well as photos and other documents across all the devices. When someone makes a purchase from the iTunes store on one Apple device, it will automatically download to all other registered devices at the same time.
While Apple is known for being a closed system, the company is also rolling out iTunes Match for $24.99 a year, which will allow users to store music bought from other services.
Last week Amazon made the push for its cloud service with the introduction of the Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon offers free storage of Kindle books, music and other content bought on its site. Fire owners can also store non-Amazon content on the cloud, as well. The first five gigabytes are free with prices starting at $20 a year for up to 20 gigabytes and up to $1,000 for 1,000 gigabytes.
Ray Wang, chief executive of Constellation Research, told Dow Jones Newswires that Amazon and Apple are ahead of the competition because the companies have linked software and hardware more effectively than others, most notably Google and Microsoft.
- iCloud – Apple
- Apple, Amazon Intensify Fight To Provide Consumer ‘Clouds’ – Dow Jones Newswires/The Wall Street Journal
- iTunes Match arriving “late October” – GigaOM
- AMZN ‘Fire’ Threat To Everyone But Apple, Says Sterne Agee – Barrons
- Amazon Cloud Boosts Fire – The Wall Street Journal
Discussion Questions: How important is the battle for the cloud in the consumer market? Which company do you think will emerge as the leader in the consumer cloud market in the years ahead?