Yesterday, Apple revealed how much the iCloud--its shiny new product that will allow you to share music, e-books, and movies between multiple computers and mobile devices--will actually cost you. With the release of the Beta site for developers, Apple, on its site, also let potential users in on its pricing scheme. After 5GB of free storage, the next 10 GB cost $20 a year, the next 20 gigs will run $40 a year, and the next 50 (for you media freaks) will cost you $100 a year. Sure those numbers sound steep, but it actually isn't as bad as it might seem.
Unlike Google, which charges nothing for storage and instead relies on ads, Apple is trying to pay-for-space strategy, explains PCWorld's Daniel Ioenscu. "Apple will charge users who require more than 5GB of free iCloud storage (documents, backups, contacts, calendars) and won't display ads."
5 GB isn't very much. It's about an iPod Nano's worth of stuff--maybe about five movies. But, unless you're a media entity, or a hoarder, you probably won't have to pay Apple anything to use the cloud, believes Gadgetwise's Nick Bilton.
Apple noted on its Web site that applications, books and music, will not count against the 5 gigabytes of free storage. Mail, iWorks documents, photos and account settings will count towards the iCloud storage. A user could expect to store more than 1,000 photos for free.
Photo Stream images also don't count against your storage limit, adds 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman.
Basically, non-Apple media costs you space. Since you already use iTunes and maybe already have an iPhone, and already have found all of your favorite apps, this really won't be a problem for you. Or maybe you haven't jumped on the Apple bandwagon, well now now have another reason to do that.
But not everyone is welcoming the rates. The pricing structure doesn't really offer any bulk discounts, which irks Ubergizmo's Tyler Lee. "Perhaps they’re limiting the amount people can store on their cloud accounts to prevent piracy?" And if you happen to reach the limit, Apple bounces your iCloud.com e-mails, explains The Next Web's Matthew Panzarino.
Bottom line: Want more? Pay up.
But, maybe even if you have to pay a bit, the cost isn't too bad. PocketLint's Hunter Skipworth puts it in persective. "websites like Dropbox will charge $10 per month for 50GB or $19.99 for 100GB."
With its pricing scheme, Apple also released the Beta version of iCloud.com, which is being used for developers to start building third-party applications, reports Bilton. The iCloud is expected to launch officially sometime this fall.