Apple may offer free iCloud services with aggressively priced Mac OS X Lion

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Apple next week is likely to announce that all Mac owners who run the latest version of the OS X operating system, Lion, will also receive at least some of the services from iCloud for free, sources have told AppleInsider.



Apple uncharacteristically preannounced iCloud in a press released issued on Tuesday, revealing that Chief Executive Steve Jobs will introduce the product alongside Mac OS X 10.7 and iOS 5 at the keynote to kick off the Worldwide Developers Conference next week. The company may have been willing to let the cat out of the bag early because of a plethora of surprises it has planned for next week.



People familiar with Apple's plans indicated to AppleInsider that at least one of those secrets is expected to be that at least some of the services included in iCloud will be offered for free to Mac users who make the upgrade to Lion. iCloud is expected to replace the company's existing MobileMe service, which offers e-mail and remote file storage, along with syncing of bookmarks, contacts and calendar events, at a price tag of $99 per year.



That price tag may remain for users who do not make the upgrade to Lion, or for Windows users. But it is expected that the cloud services will become free to Mac users who run the latest version of Mac OS X.



But one important component of iCloud is unlikely to be be free: music streaming. While those people familiar with Apple's plans offered no indication regarding the music streaming service, the licensing agreements that Apple has worked to secure carry a price tag that is expected to be passed on to users in some form.



It is, however, possible that Apple could offer some sort of an introductory or trial period for its music streaming service. It was CNet that reported in April that Apple's iCloud could be free at first, but that the company eventually plans to charge customers for hosting content on its servers.



Free access to iCloud may not be the only carrot that Apple dangles in front of users to incentivize upgrades to Lion. A separate source that reached out to AppleInsider also indicated it's possible that the company could be planning a one-two punch, offering not only iCloud, but also a low sale price for Lion.







This source, who has an unproven track record, claims that Apple higher-ups were pushing for an aggressive price point on Lion -- an approach the company already employed with great success when Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard launched in late 2009.



Snow Leopard debuted with a $29 price tag, and that strategy resulted in sales that doubled the previous record-setting launch of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.



It's possible that the lower price could also be tied to purchasing Lion through the Mac App Store. The company already does this by selling its professional photography software, Aperture, for $79.99 in the App Store -- a price $120 lower than the $199.99 Apple charges for a boxed copy of Aperture 3, and even $20 less than the $99 Aperture 3 Upgrade.



Whether Apple will choose to go with the same sub-$30 pricing of Snow Leopard when Lion goes on sale is unknown. But software now plays a very small part in Apple's bottom line, and the company is said to be interested in ensuring that users quickly upgrade to the latest version of Mac OS X, through incentives and low barriers to entry.



Apple executives are said to have so much confidence in Lion, they believe the new operating system will help the company carve away even more market share from traditional Windows PCs. The idea is near-ubiquitous adoption of Lion on Macs will go a long way in promoting the Mac platform and further expand Apple's market penetration.



Lion may also help PC switchers make the jump to the Mac with a new "mentor" tool. One person with knowledge of the company's plans said this service aims to help people set up their new system, including external devices like printers and routers. The source expressed uncertainty about the "mentor" tool, suggesting it may not make the final cut.



Apple is also said to be planning an aggressive marketing push for Lion when it debuts later this year. In the weeks before Lion goes on sale, the company is expected to showcase several applications available on the Mac App Store to spotlight some of the biggest features of Lion.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 119
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    I don't need iCloud, but I would like the price of Lion to be close to 80 bucks retail, 50 on the Mac App Store.
  • Reply 2 of 119
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    FindMyMac will be free. As will the current MobileMe offerings.



    Everything else about the new MobileMe/iCloud? Paid. Plain and simple.



    Lion, though, I'd see $50-$80. Somewhere around there.
  • Reply 3 of 119
    roboduderobodude Posts: 273member
    As long as they make it somewhat easy to backup the OS to a flash drive (to reinstall it as needed), then there's little reason to buy a physical copy. Ads which actually show off Lion's apps and features, especially as it now resembles iOS, should see Mac sales dare-I-say "surge in the face of slowing PC growth".



    As an aside, while the app store is good for downloading apps on the Mac, they need to sort out the uninstallation side. Deleting apps via Launchpad still leaves files behind.
  • Reply 4 of 119
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I don't need iCloud, but I would like the price of SL to be close to 80 bucks retail, 50 on the Mac App Store.



    SL is actually free.
  • Reply 5 of 119
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robodude View Post


    As long as they make it somewhat easy to backup the OS to a flash drive (to reinstall it as needed), then there's little reason to buy a physical copy. Ads which actually show off Lion's apps and features, especially as it now resembles iOS, should see Mac sales dare-I-say "surge in the face of slowing PC growth".



    As an aside, while the app store is good for downloading apps on the Mac, they need to sort out the uninstallation side. Deleting apps via Launchbar still leaves files behind.



    Given that your installation disk is kind of a failsafe, one could argue that you shouldn't have to go through a process - that may or may not work in each case - to create the failsafe. Or is that a bit nuclear-power-station paranoid?
  • Reply 6 of 119
    psobuzzpsobuzz Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robodude View Post




    As an aside, while the app store is good for downloading apps on the Mac, they need to sort out the uninstallation side. Deleting apps via Launchbar still leaves files behind.



    Totally agree...



    Cheap lion and some free icloud sounds perfect. Bring it on.
  • Reply 7 of 119
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    So Apple thinks Lion is great and they are going to push said OS release with marketing. What a shocker.



    The real news here is that iCloud, aka Mobile me 2.0 will not be free. This is not good. "iClould is free if you buy this other thing from us". I.E. it's not free. I have a sinking feeling. I told Jobs to make Mobile me free and use it to sell Macs and iOS products as a selling point, I hope he got the message. He sure didn't get the message with Safari extensions. Chrome extensions implementation embarrasses Safari.
  • Reply 8 of 119
    psobuzzpsobuzz Posts: 4member
    One more thing, I have a pro and an air. Does anyone know if I will have to buy two copies?



    Or a way of getting it on both without paying twice?
  • Reply 9 of 119
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 566member
    After the current release of iWork for iPhone/iTouch, I expect that there will be a cloud version for this productivity suite. This will enable you to seamlessly continue working on a document on another device at the same point you left your document on another device - without copying, producing numerous versions on different devices that then become difficult to track. This would be extremely awesome and also highly interesting for business. OK - I would love such a feature as I constantly struggle with different versions of a document on different devices.
  • Reply 10 of 119
    psych_guypsych_guy Posts: 481member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    So Apple thinks Lion is great and they are going to push said OS release with marketing. What a shocker.



    The real news here is that iCloud, aka Mobile me 2.0 will not be free. This is not good. "iClould is free if you buy this other thing from us". I.E. it's not free. I have a sinking feeling. I told Jobs to make Mobile me free and use it to sell Macs and iOS products as a selling point, I hope he got the message. He sure didn't get the message with Safari extensions. Chrome extensions implementation embarrasses Safari.



    I swear Ireland. If you ever post one thing positive I will have a heart attack and die.



    Don't you ever look at the bright side of things?
  • Reply 11 of 119
    justfinejustfine Posts: 61member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    FindMyMac will be free. As will the current MobileMe offerings.



    Everything else about the new MobileMe/iCloud? Paid. Plain and simple.



    Lion, though, I'd see $50-$80. Somewhere around there.



    My MobileMe auto renewed today and my wife's will in 2 weeks. At $99 each as there's no longer a boxed version to buy at Amazon for $70. So, $200 and in a few weeks they will be giving it away free? After 5 years of buying 2 subscriptions a year I'm going to be pretty annoyed if it's all free and I don't receive a rebate/credit of some sort. Especially as subscribed calendars have cost us seemingly dozens of hours of frustration and aggravation (and missed appointments as well).
  • Reply 12 of 119
    How do you "preannounce" something? Once you mention it, that's the announcement.
  • Reply 13 of 119
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    ---



    People familiar with Apple's plans indicated to AppleInsider that at least one of those secrets is expected to be that at least some of the services included in iCloud will be offered for free to Mac users who make the upgrade to Lion. iCloud is expected to replace the company's existing MobileMe service, which offers e-mail and remote file storage, along with syncing of bookmarks, contacts and calendar events, at a price tag of $99 per year.



    ---




    If Lion + iCloud means syncing with the performance and reliability of say Dropbox, then I'm in for both and will happily switch my data upgrade from Dropbox to iCloud and upgrade my 2 macs to Lion.



    If it stinks like MobileMe, then I'll invest in a longer barge poll.
  • Reply 14 of 119
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Unkown Blogger View Post


    How do you "preannounce" something? Once you mention it, that's the announcement.



    I just assume it's a shortening for preliminary announcement. Whether that the case or not it helps sleep better at night.
  • Reply 15 of 119
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    So Apple thinks Lion is great and they are going to push said OS release with marketing. What a shocker.



    The real news here is that iCloud, aka Mobile me 2.0 will not be free. This is not good. "iClould is free if you buy this other thing from us". I.E. it's not free. I have a sinking feeling. I told Jobs to make Mobile me free and use it to sell Macs and iOS products as a selling point, I hope he got the message. He sure didn't get the message with Safari extensions. Chrome extensions implementation embarrasses Safari.



    The thing about free is you can get it elsewhere - I think OK should be free and premium should have a price.



    I want to pay for something that works immaculately, like I've come to expect from my Apple stuff, but MobileMe just doesn't.
  • Reply 16 of 119
    rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justfine View Post


    My MobileMe auto renewed today and my wife's will in 2 weeks. At $99 each as there's no longer a boxed version to buy at Amazon for $70. So, $200 and in a few weeks they will be giving it away free? After 5 years of buying 2 subscriptions a year I'm going to be pretty annoyed if it's all free and I don't receive a rebate/credit of some sort. Especially as subscribed calendars have cost us seemingly dozens of hours of frustration and aggravation (and missed appointments as well).



    Why haven't you been buying the family plan for $149?
  • Reply 17 of 119
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Psobuzz View Post


    One more thing, I have a pro and an air. Does anyone know if I will have to buy two copies?



    Or a way of getting it on both without paying twice?



    Using your iTunes account, you can install and re-install any app you bought from the Mac App Store (MAS) on an unlimited number of Macs.



    So, simple answer to your question :

    First question : NO.

    Second question : YES (login to the MAS with the iTunes account you used to buy the app (Lion) in the first place).
  • Reply 18 of 119
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post


    I swear Ireland. If you ever post one thing positive I will have a heart attack and die.




    Me too
  • Reply 19 of 119
    roboduderobodude Posts: 273member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PXT View Post


    Given that your installation disk is kind of a failsafe, one could argue that you shouldn't have to go through a process - that may or may not work in each case - to create the failsafe. Or is that a bit nuclear-power-station paranoid?



    I suppose, but I've had to do it numerous times -- especially managing the Lion dev preview I've been testing out. With the Macbook Air, I'm thinking Lion may come on a flash drive/ memory stick as opposed to CD.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    So Apple thinks Lion is great and they are going to push said OS release with marketing. What a shocker.



    The real news here is that iCloud, aka Mobile me 2.0 will not be free. This is not good. "iClould is free if you buy this other thing from us". I.E. it's not free. I have a sinking feeling. I told Jobs to make Mobile me free and use it to sell Macs and iOS products as a selling point, I hope he got the message. He sure didn't get the message with Safari extensions. Chrome extensions implementation embarrasses Safari.



    If iCloud (still hate the name) renders iTunes useless by syncing my music, movies and photos over the air then I'd find that quite valuable and worth paying for. Hopefully it's nothing like MobileMe. And they don't do a large scale roll-out that will inevitably flop (or at least make sure they're better prepared this time).



    Safari extensions, for the most part, don't even exist as far as I'm concerned. Much fanfare for what ended up as a non-feature.
  • Reply 20 of 119
    webfrassewebfrasse Posts: 147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Psobuzz View Post


    One more thing, I have a pro and an air. Does anyone know if I will have to buy two copies?



    Or a way of getting it on both without paying twice?



    Everything you buy in the Mac App Store is installable (and licensed) on all machines attached to the same account.
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