Reports: iCloud $25/Year, New Time Capsule May Cache Cloud Music in Online Locker
June 3, 2011 10:50 AM
Steve Jobs is expected to showcase iCloud on June 6
Many tech competitors have been releasing cloud-based storage services over the past few months, including
Amazon's Cloud Drive
, which launched in late March and encountered legal troubles with record companies, and
, which was released in early May.
For a while there, many wondered when Apple would join the cloud club. But in late April, rumors started circulating that Apple
bought the domain "iCloud.com"
for $4.5 million, and from there, Apple
met with record labels
and plans to demo the new service this month.
While Apple may be last in line to launch a cloud-based service, it made sure the wait was worth it. What Apple has that others don't is licensing agreements with four major record labels, including Warner Music Group, EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music. These deals are fit to benefit both Apple and record labels because Apple will have the freedom to offer additional features on its service, and record labels will get a cut of the revenue, which is something they've been fighting for ever since illegal downloading came about. Record labels also hope to show Google and Amazon that Apple will prosper with licensing rights on its side, possibly encouraging the two tech giants to do the same.
According to the
Los Angeles Times
, the annual subscription fee for iCloud will likely be $25. While parts of iCloud could be offered for free for those who purchase Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, the $25 fee for hosting music in the cloud may be a separate service from the free parts.
For every $25 subscription, 70 percent will go to record labels, 12 percent will go to those with the songwriting rights and the last 18 percent will go to Apple. This means that record labels will receive $17.50, those with songwriting rights will get $3 and Apple will receive $4.50 for every iCloud subscription.
Music will be iCloud's main focus for now, but is expected to eventually include movies, TV shows and more at a later time. Many believe it will resemble the content currently hosted by MobileMe.
In other Apple-related news, a new version of the
, which is a wireless network-attached storage device, is currently undergoing testing at Apple. The new device will silently cache software updates for any devices that consistently connect to the Wi-Fi network without user intervention. It will allow iOS or Mac users to install software updates from local caches instead of waiting for a download. In addition, some believe the new Time Capsule will allow the iPhone and iPad to undergo software updates without being tethered to a Mac, and also expect that the new storage device will be tied to the cloud. The release date of the new Time Capsule is currently unknown.
Steve Jobs is
expected to showcase
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, iCloud and iOS 5 on June 6.
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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