Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Apple iCloud: perfect for laundering all your 'acquired' music

Here are the main takeaways from Apple's WWDC 2011 (so far), related to iCloud, iOS 5, and OSX Lion.
  • iCloud: auto sync over WiFi to all devices (up to 10); scan & match to convert all your tracks to AAC; photo stream to push 1,000 most recent photos to each device; daily back-up over WiFi; 5 GB free storage for mail, docs, back-up.
  • iOS 5: iMessage for free on-net SMS/MMS among iOS users; Twitter integration.
And some numbers:
  • 200m iOS devices sold so far, of which 25m iPads.
  • 54m active Mac users.
  • App Store holds 425k apps, of which 90k for iPad only; 14bn apps have been downloaded.
  • iBookstore holds 200k titles; 130m iBooks have been downloaded.
  • iTunes Store: 225m accounts, 15bn tracks were downloaded.
  • Game Center: 50m users.
  • Bad news for SMS/MMS and possibly for BlackBerry/Ping. However, Apple is still a top-end brand, limiting its network effect. But the lock-in appears to be vast.
  • Cloud computing, data centers and connectivity increasingly important; WiFi in particular.
  • Same for developers. Who are the champions? Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, ...
  • Sacrificing: the Mac computer; no longer needed for syncing.
  • There seem to be no limits to their developing powers. Each is building its own version of the internet. And if Google should ever launch a bank, they would be building their own version of ... the economy.
  • Conspicuously missing so far: streaming media, broadcast/video and VoIP.
  • Scan & match appears to be a laundering tool for all so far cobbled together music from various sources. Not sure if the music majors are involved. Is there a revenue sharing deal? Or have they been as clever as one can expect, taking just $150m?

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