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Rumors of new, free MobileMe service from Apple gain steam

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
Apple could introduce a complete revamp of its MobileMe internet service as early as next month that would be completely free for customers of the company's hardware devices, marking a departure and depreciation of the existing service which retails for $99 per year.

Citing a "trusted" source employed by a major educational institution, iLounge claims "the schools supplier has said the current version of MobileMe is no longer available, and that Apple is suggesting new students sign up for the 60-day trial to cover the gap between the final MobileMe shipment and the launch of the new version."

Indeed, Apple in late February removed the $99 MobileMe product from its online store and notified resellers that it had discontinued the retail box SKU for the cloud-based syncing service, suggesting the company was prepared to launch a rumored overhaul of the service.

According to the latest report, Apple will reportedly support subscribers of the existing version of MobileMe for the next year, suggesting that the new version will be quite different from the current offering. It's therefore speculated that the extra year of support would likely cover those customers who recently paid for a full year of MobileMe, prior to Apple removing any method through which a user could pay for the service.

For weeks, there have been persistent rumors that Apple is in the process of revamping MobileMe, with the Wall Street Journal reporting last month that iPhone maker plans to turn MobileMe into a free service that would serve as a digital "locker" where users could store photos, music and videos.

That report was tied to claims that Apple would release a smaller, cheaper phone this summer, bundled with the new MobileMe services. It cited a person who claimed to have seen a prototype device late last fall, describing it as "about half the size of iPhone 4." The new model, harmonizing with a recent report by Bloomberg, was said to be aimed at delivering a low cost phone that costs "about half the price" of today's iPhone 4.

The smaller iPhone was said to be priced cheap enough to be offered by carriers for free with a smaller subsidy, or in the ballpark of $300 unlocked. Rather than being a dumbed down "feature phone," the smaller iPhone was said to simply be "significantly lighter," with a smaller edge-to-edge touch screen.

However, sources for the The New York Times quickly refuted the claim that Apple was developing a smaller handset, saying that the company has instead been looking into a cheaper version of the device that would appear roughly the same size.

The Times cited a senior Apple executive who said during a private meeting that making multiple iPhone models wouldn't make sense for the company, though the executive did note that the iPhone maker will continue its practice of offering older models at a discounted price.

The Times' report did, however, corroborate details from prior reports regarding enhanced MobileMe services and improved "voice navigation." It said that Apple is indeed building a "more versatile" free version of MobileMe that would allow users to sync files without using a cable.

The goal is that your photos and other media content will eventually just sync across all your Apple devices without people having to do anything, the person said.

Adding to those claims was yet another report from the well-sourced Jim Dalrymple at The Loop, who said he believes Apple's new MobileMe will allow cloud syncing and sharing of content, but the actual storage will be hosted on individual users' computers. That runs contrary to the reports which have speculated that Apple will host the files on its own servers -- an approach that he called "a bit much."

"Instead of trying to provide everyone with cloud storage, I believe Apple will use MobileMe as the brain of the cloud service," he said. "The actual storage will be on our individual machines. In effect, in the cloud."

He said the system would allow for every song in a user's library to be listed on an iPhone, though only some of them would be saved locally and others would be downloaded from a user's home PC or Mac via iTunes. A similar approach was detailed in a patent application uncovered last month by AppleInsider, which described seamlessly merging cloud content with locally stored files into one library.

"I also believe that MobileMe will be more than about media," Dalrymple said. "You will also be able to share and sync files and documents in much the same way. If there is a document on your home system that you need, it will always be available to you. Tap on it, and it downloads to your iPhone or iPad."

He also suggested that the service would sync contacts, calendars and other data, and would be compatible with Macs, the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Windows PCs.
post #2 of 102
Say it enough times and you'll obviously be right.

Just like the Verizon iPhone!

No, I want this just as much as everyone else; have at it.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #3 of 102
It's about time Apple devotees are rewarded.
post #4 of 102
I think the new MobileMe will also serve as sort of your own webpage/blog/Facebook page - but updated live and on demand.
post #5 of 102
Sounds like it will only hold file metadata in the cloud. Maybe all your devices upload their Spotlight indexes? They already have Back To My Mac where all your Macs register their IP addresses with MobileMe so their services can be found, so maybe this is part of the puzzle.

Anyway I actually have 4 years of email saved on MobileMe, so if they are cancelled the email service (which sounds possible) then I hope they provide a tool to archive those off somewhere.
post #6 of 102
I just got automatically renewed for another year of MobileMe \

I had it when it was free as iTools. Hen paid for as .Mac. And kept it when it became MobileMe.

I hope I get some sort of refund or something if they do make it free
post #7 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

I think the new MobileMe will also serve as sort of your own webpage/blog/Facebook page - but updated live and on demand.

It would be nice if I could set it up to post a feed for all my twitter/facebook/social networking stuff. That'd be pretty sweet!
post #8 of 102
i can see a home server, or timecapsule integration, with media files accessible
if my macbook is asleep sometimes apple tv doesn't "see" it, and i have to wake it up
that has to be dealt with
also, that service of using my own macs as storage, helps with ownership, streaming and "fair use" for my media, but why does apple need gazillion feet of server farm space
if apple became an mvno, they could offer many neat services and control the ballgame for less expensive entree to mobile world
i think its bigger than above and more intergrated, more service integration also further pushes competitors away, no vendor but apple will have the services

so all those xoom, playbook etc will be toast, apple is thinking really big i think really big
we will be awesomly (?real word) surprised. we can't seem to put the pieces together it will be big, inclusive, integrated solutions for many things that are a hassle right now.
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post #9 of 102
It's about time.
I've felt like an idiot paying $99 for the last few years just to get the syncing capability. It should have be much cheaper all along. I do wish they'd do more for us long loyal customers though.
post #10 of 102
Could Apple be thinking of merging Ping with MobileMe and iWork web apps? Sort of a combination of Facebook and Google? Facebook has messaging, contacts, and calendars, but the are relatively weak version of those functions. Google has all of that plus their online apps and Picasa photo sharing. There are already a plethora of tools for syncing between computers and mobile devices to Facebook and Google services. Apple could replace all of that functionality under the MobileMe brand and support it with their iAds, just like Facebook and Google support their servcies with ad revenue.
post #11 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by LandMineHare View Post

I just got automatically renewed for another year of MobileMe \

I had it when it was free as iTools. Hen paid for as .Mac. And kept it when it became MobileMe.

I hope I get some sort of refund or something if they do make it free

Ditto, I'm due to renew early next month.
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The first commandment of ALL religions is to provide a comfortable living for the priesthood.
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post #12 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

It's about time.
I've felt like an idiot paying $99 for the last few years just to get the syncing capability. It should have be much cheaper all along.

It was. $73.99 at Amazon currently (and it has been cheaper there as well) with free shipping.

-kpluck

Do you use MagicJack?

The default settings will automatically charge your credit card each year for service renewal. You will not be notified or warned in anyway. You can turn auto renewal off.

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Do you use MagicJack?

The default settings will automatically charge your credit card each year for service renewal. You will not be notified or warned in anyway. You can turn auto renewal off.

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post #13 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by LandMineHare View Post

I just got automatically renewed for another year of MobileMe \

I had it when it was free as iTools. Hen paid for as .Mac. And kept it when it became MobileMe.

I hope I get some sort of refund or something if they do make it free

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article

According to the latest report, Apple will reportedly support subscribers of the existing version of MobileMe for the next year, suggesting that the new version will be quite different from the current offering. It's therefore speculated that the extra year of support would likely cover those customers who recently paid for a full year of MobileMe, prior to Apple removing any method through which a user could pay for the service.

\\\\\\

Reading?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #14 of 102
If the service is going to be free then why are students having to sign up for a 60-day trial?
post #15 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

so all those xoom, playbook etc will be toast, apple is thinking really big i think really big
we will be awesomly (?real word) surprised. we can't seem to put the pieces together it will be big, inclusive, integrated solutions for many things that are a hassle right now.

No, Apple is playing catch-up... the Xoom and any future Honeycomb tablets already have free cloud sync and restore capability, combined with gmail provides essentially the same solution.
post #16 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by LandMineHare View Post

I just got automatically renewed for another year of MobileMe \

I had it when it was free as iTools. Hen paid for as .Mac. And kept it when it became MobileMe.

I hope I get some sort of refund or something if they do make it free

So far I never regretted to have paid for this service. If it's free in future all the better.

I hope though that they have like entry accounts for free but premium accounts with faster download and upload speeds and of course more GB storage. I guess many of us would be willing to pay a couple of $ for a surplus on speed and space.
post #17 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

If the service is going to be free then why are students having to sign up for a 60-day trial?

Because the actual "Free" service hasn't been announced/rolled-out yet.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #18 of 102
It would tie all Apple devices together, mobile and non-mobile, via the cloud? This would light a fire under Mac Sales. Buy, buy, buy! (AAPL, that is.)
post #19 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaygeek View Post

No, Apple is playing catch-up... the Xoom and any future Honeycomb tablets already have free cloud sync and restore capability, combined with gmail provides essentially the same solution.

Is this why Xoom is such a mind blowing success, and everybody stands in lines of hundreds to get one.
post #20 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

It's about time Apple devotees are rewarded.

Apple devotees? Rewarded? you've bought Apple's products because you choose to, not because you were doing them a favour. You owe them nothing and they owe you nothing. It's a business transaction, nothing more. If MM is made free it's because they feel they can leverage the service to obtain and/or maintain HW purchasing customers, not to reward you for being so devoted.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #21 of 102
It would really be nice of Apple to do so. Whether they make it the same as the current offering or slightly different, it will definitely a nice platform. I will be happy for it.
post #22 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

So far I never regretted to have paid for this service. If it's free in future all the better.

I hope though that they have like entry accounts for free but premium accounts with faster download and upload speeds and of course more GB storage. I guess many of us would be willing to pay a couple of $ for a surplus on speed and space.

Neither have I.

fI think it will be free since arguably the best feature, Find My iPhone/iPad was made free last year and I know several people who were buying it mainly for that feature.

However, I'm afraid of the service if it does become free. I want accountability for the data I sync and save. I want the service to become faster, not degrade due to an excessive number of users on a free service. I don want ads, even though this migh be a good way for Apple to get their iAds out of apps and into webpages (they are HTML5/CSS3/JS, after all).
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #23 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

It would tie all Apple devices together, mobile and non-mobile, via the cloud? This would light a fire under Mac Sales. Buy, buy, buy! (AAPL, that is.)

If this rumor really has some truth, I Guess you will be right, there will be an avalanche of new mac users. This might put the new apple cloud center in NC into quite a strain soon after it starts its service. I guess we will see soon new construction sites for additional data centers.
post #24 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

Is this why Xoom is such a mind blowing success, and everybody stands in lines of hundreds to get one.

Those stupid Xoom commercials sure don't help... anyone over the age of 19 turns away when they come on the tube... they think it's just another add on to a gaming system... not that there is anything wrong with that...

Any extra service given away free by Apple is a big plus...
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post #25 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Apple devotees? Rewarded? you've bought Apple's products because you choose to, not because you were doing them a favour. You owe them nothing and they owe you nothing. It's a business transaction, nothing more. If MM is made free it's because they feel they can leverage the service to obtain and/or maintain HW purchasing customers, not to reward you for being so devoted.

A little free something Apple doesn't hurt. Yahoo, Google, Hotmail(Microsoft), Facebook etc. are all free. We purchased nothing from these. We owe them nothing and they owe us nothing. It is business as usual.
post #26 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Apple devotees? Rewarded? you've bought Apple's products because you choose to, not because you were doing them a favour. You owe them nothing and they owe you nothing. It's a business transaction, nothing more. If MM is made free it's because they feel they can leverage the service to obtain and/or maintain HW purchasing customers, not to reward you for being so devoted.

As anyone with an original mac.com account form the 1990´s will tell you, Apple might be trying to do a free offer for this service only to SCREW you down the line just like they did before with the Mac.com email address.
I for one will not fall for this, given how burdensome it is to move back and forth between email addresses, including having to notify all your contacts. What´s the point if in 2013 they will once again come up with the old "now we have to charge you because it has become to expensive to give away" argument.
post #27 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

A little free something Apple doesn't hurt. Yahoo, Google, Hotmail(Microsoft), Facebook etc. are all free. We purchased nothing from these. We owe them nothing and they owe us nothing. It is business as usual.

trust me: it will NOT be free. Even if it is at first, they will find some lame argument to charge you once you are already on the bandwagon.
post #28 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

A little free something Apple doesn't hurt. Yahoo, Google, Hotmail(Microsoft), Facebook etc. are all free. We purchased nothing from these. We owe them nothing and they owe us nothing. It is business as usual.

Free? You pay with your personal information and by viewing ads.

You probably think TV is free too.
post #29 of 102
I agree, it will be free at first, then become paid again.

It will likely be free b/c apple loves to push things out the door so fast they have hardly had time to test it. We become the beta testers, and therefore nothing to complain about since we didn't pay for anything. It's.... magical!
post #30 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Apple devotees? Rewarded? you've bought Apple's products because you choose to, not because you were doing them a favour. You owe them nothing and they owe you nothing. It's a business transaction, nothing more. If MM is made free it's because they feel they can leverage the service to obtain and/or maintain HW purchasing customers, not to reward you for being so devoted.

LOL...so true! You could be somone who has never laid a finger on an Apple product their entire lives, go buy a Mac the day after this service is activated and get the same "reward" as a devotee who has been bleeding Apple for 20 years!

Remember, at the last Apple Event (iPad 2), SJ spend a lot of time bragging about all the "accounts with credit cards" Apple has accumulated via iTunes. But how can Apple get you to use that credit card even more?

I suspect the syncing will be free becuase that supports owning multiple devices, so more hardware sales for Apple. Email will probably also be free, but many iTunes IDs are based on emails from other services, so I don't see this as a "must-be-free" feature (and I certainly would never make it my primary email address). There will be a social network web site based on Ping. Photo sharing will move from MobileMe's lame gallery to the Ping service to better compete with Facebook along with iCal and Address Book. iChat will move to Ping for the same reason. Ping will also become a portal for accessing Facetime (think Skype). All of these "free" (ie, iAd supported) services will be given away to get you to spend more time on Apple's vitual property. And once there this will be a portal to make it even easier to purchase music, movies, apps, online storage, etc. I could even see this portal as one day replacing iTunes for activating new iPads and iPhones so you don't need to own a computer to have one of Apple's iOS devices.
post #31 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Neither have I.

fI think it will be free since arguably the best feature, Find My iPhone/iPad was made free last year and I know several people who were buying it mainly for that feature.

However, I'm afraid of the service if it does become free. I want accountability for the data I sync and save. I want the service to become faster, not degrade due to an excessive number of users on a free service. I don want ads, even though this migh be a good way for Apple to get their iAds out of apps and into webpages (they are HTML5/CSS3/JS, after all).

I agree 100%.
I'm very comfortable paying a nominal $5 a month to have ad-free email (with aliases), synching, hosting, Web Gallery photo sharing and iDisk storage. Seems exceptionally reasonable to me.

Hopefully with a free MobileMe service, none of these features are lost but can we still expect the same level of service (or better) with no accountability on Apple's part? I'm hopeful but nervous.

Also Apple has made it known that the @mac.com address will be making way for the newer @me.com extension at some point, but they original extension is still active. I'd hate to loose that. Is it realistic to expect free email (including aliases) from Apple with no ads?
post #32 of 102
This rumor is BS.

Apple is not going to give up $100/ year from x millions of current subscribers. Sure they'll give something away for free, but they aren't giving up what they already.

Nothing is free and if there is a free service I would expect there to be a premium service as well. The other possibility is that all of this is going to be partially iAd based. I would hope there's a premium ad free option.

The rumor also makes it sound like Apple is going to strand it's current MM users and ditch the current service all together? Way to alienate loyal subscribers. Again, I don't think Apple would ditch mail and calendars etc.

Using your home server as the "storage" for the cloud? Didn't we already come to the conclusion this won't work either?

I don't see any of these things happening. We will probably see a free MM with a mixture of components and features and the paid version will offer another mix.

My account renewed 7 days ago. I got no notice from Apple as per the students rumored above. I've been using the service since the very beginning with itools, then dot mac etc.
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post #33 of 102
I use the site-hosting feature of MobileMe to run a very small site created on iWeb - hopefully this feature comes along for the free ride.
post #34 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

A little free something Apple doesn't hurt. Yahoo, Google, Hotmail(Microsoft), Facebook etc. are all free. We purchased nothing from these. We owe them nothing and they owe us nothing. It is business as usual.

Well you might not have given those companies money but you are giving them access to your personal information and online activity which they sell for profit. Many are comfortable with that set up, but I'm not.

If MobileMe goes free what happens to all the sites Apple hosts through iWeb publication? Something tells me it will no longer be a feature of MobileMe and people will have to pay someone else to host their sites.

Personally, my online life is very much tied to MobileMe. It's something I use daily so any changes to the service will affect me greatly.
post #35 of 102
Apple had to qualms about charging me my renewal fee recently \
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #36 of 102
I hope the don't do away with the email on mobile me.
post #37 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

Well you might not have given those companies money but you are giving them access to your personal information and online activity which they sell for profit. Many are comfortable with that set up, but I'm not.

If MobileMe goes free what happens to all the sites Apple hosts through iWeb publication? Something tells me it will no longer be a feature of MobileMe and people will have to pay someone else to host their sites.

Personally, my online life is very much tied to MobileMe. It's something I use daily so any changes to the service will affect me greatly.

This is all rumor anyway. If there is any truth to it, Apple should have two versions of it: the premium and secure version for payers, and the free version for non payers.
post #38 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIM View Post

Free? You pay with your personal information and by viewing ads.

You probably think TV is free too.

We will still pay with our personal information whether this service is free or not. Why pay them money when they are still going to sell my personal information? And should I stop watching TV simply because they show advertisements? This is capitalism. This is what keeps the economy going.
post #39 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal 9000 View Post

trust me: it will NOT be free. Even if it is at first, they will find some lame argument to charge you once you are already on the bandwagon.

You are probably right. But this is Apple. They will find a way to make it fair and favorable for everyone.
post #40 of 102
Quote:
It's about time.
I've felt like an idiot paying $99 for the last few years just to get the syncing capability. It should have be much cheaper all along. I do wish they'd do more for us long loyal customers though.

Ditto. They better take good care of us idiots. I enjoy this service. They better not lame it out, like Google's suites, with a bunch of ads and crap.
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