iCloud to address other half of iPhones never backed up via iTunes

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple's new iCloud offering will not only offer iPhone users an experience untethered from iTunes, but will also be a timesaver for the company's retail store employees dealing with customers who have never synced or backed up their devices.



According to a blogger report by OneFPS, about half of the Apple Store customers who need to have their device replaced "have never plugged them into iTunes after the initial activation and sync," a fact that makes "Apple Store Geniuses are excited about iCloud."



Sync or swim



Apple's iOS devices have always required users to plug in their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to iTunes via USB to begin its initial setup. Every time the device is plugged back into that system, iTunes does a backup of the device; transfers photos, music, videos and other documents as the user has configured during setup; syncs apps purchased in iTunes as well as apps purchased on the device and suggests any new software updates that are available.



If users don't plug into iTunes however, their devices are never backed up and their iOS version is not updated. According to the aggregate analytics of a variety of developers and ad networks, most of Apple's iOS users do regularly update their system software.



However, it appears that a large portion of the subset of iOS users who need assistance are not using iTunes regularly, leaving their mobile devices without a current backup of their data, apps and media purchases. This leaves these users in a position no better than cloud-only mobile products connected to a service that experiences a cloud failure, as the customers of Google, Microsoft, RIM, Palm and Nokia have all experienced.



While Apple's iTunes-centric model for device management works well for those who remember to regularly plug into a desktop computer, the company noted during its WWDC keynote that a large proportion of users in China and other important markets frequently don't even use a desktop computer, making iTunes sync and setup less than ideal.



iOS 5 wireless sync



iOS 5 introduces a number of new features intended to allow mobile devices to be set up without a connection to iTunes and then perform ongoing backup, sync and updates wirelessly going forward, centered around Apple's free iCloud service.



Once set up (depicted below), iOS 5 will also allow users to perform operations such as setting up new calendars or playlists without needing an external PC sync. Once users begin taking advantage of iCloud, the number of users who have never backed up or updated their software should drop precipitously.







The new iOS software update for Apple's mobile platform, which becomes available later this fall, will automatically begin syncing operations whenever it is plugged into power while a WiFi network is available, which should cover most users at home, work or school. Apple has also added direct iOS device configuration of its Airport wireless base stations to make this even easier for new users to set up.



Apple's move to cloud-centric sync and backups could expose iOS 5 users to the same types of cloud failure data losses that have hit customers of nearly everyone in the business of cloud computing, and Apple itself has suffered outages and data corruption issues with its MobileMe service. How well the company manages the rollout of its iCloud services will be critical in determining how confident iOS customers can be with a new reliance upon the cloud.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    I'm upset that all of these morons have the money to buy a smart phone that they are too dumb to know how to use properly. Meanwhile I'm stuck with a crappy flip phone because the phone and data plan cost so much, yet I know more about the iPhone than them.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    joseph ljoseph l Posts: 197member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    According to a blogger report by OneFPS, about half of the Apple Store customers who need to have their device replaced "have never plugged them into iTunes after the initial activation and sync," a fact that makes "Apple Store Geniuses are excited about iCloud."







    I have trouble believing that. People who buy Apple products usually do their homework, instead of buying the most common thing like a Blackberry. Apple customers are usually much more technically sophisticated than average. The "about one half" can't be correct.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    Hang on for a bumpy ride. Remember iSync? Took a while but got it right.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    patranuspatranus Posts: 366member
    Apple really really really (did I say really) needs to create an iTunes background service.

    There is no reason why I should have to have iTunes running on my desktop to access content on my iOS device.



    WiFi sync is somewhat pointless if iTunes isn't open on your desktop when you plug your phone into a power source.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Obi-Wan Kubrick View Post


    I'm upset that all of these morons have the money to buy a smart phone that they are too dumb to know how to use properly. Meanwhile I'm stuck with a crappy flip phone because the phone and data plan cost so much, yet I know more about the iPhone than them.



    Hey Obi try not calling others "morons" for starters one of them could be your boss. Being nicer can get you far.
  • Reply 6 of 43
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    I have trouble believing that. People who buy Apple products usually do their homework, instead of buying the most common thing like a Blackberry. Apple customers are usually much more technically sophisticated than average. The "about one half" can't be correct.



    Read post #5 above to dissuade yourself of that illusion.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    I have trouble believing that. People who buy Apple products usually do their homework, instead of buying the most common thing like a Blackberry. Apple customers are usually much more technically sophisticated than average. The "about one half" can't be correct.



    I think the "about one half" refers to clients who need help at the Genius Bar. That makes sense to me. I research my products, know a ton about how to use my phone, and as such would probably solve all of my own problems with my phone and never take it in to a Genius Bar. I'm guessing the average of iPhone users that visit the Genius Bar is not an accurate depiction of the average iPhone owner in general.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    Pfft. I hate backing up. It takes to frackin' long. USB is slower than sh*t. Bring back FW.



    I plug my phone in to charge it. If I change my mind, I can unplug it anytime. But with iTunes, it takes a couple minutes to back up and then synchronize. (Yes, I hate interrupting the sync.) The wireless synching and iCloud features will be awesome. No more app synching. No more iPad to iPhone switching wondering which one had that file. They'll all be up to date.



    However, I do update often, but I don't sync every day. Maybe once every two weeks.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    In the beta you can only back up to one place. You cannot backup to iCloud and iTunes together. I hope this is not the case with the final release.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,027member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    I have trouble believing that. People who buy Apple products usually do their homework, instead of buying the most common thing like a Blackberry. Apple customers are usually much more technically sophisticated than average. The "about one half" can't be correct.



    There might be some truth in that regarding to switchers, ie, those having switched to a Mac (which by now must make up the majority of Mac users) but not for iPhone users. Though I still think somebody paying for $700 device must have some technological interest.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,027member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Pfft. I hate backing up. It takes to frackin' long. USB is slower than sh*t. Bring back FW.



    Backing up takes about 20 to 30 seconds on my iPhone 4, total syncing about 90 seconds (with nothing to copy, a 10 MB podcast might add 5 seconds to that).
  • Reply 12 of 43
    If they've never plugged it in to sync/back up, what makes you think they'll update to iOS 5? I know people still on 2.2.1, and 3.1.2,
  • Reply 13 of 43
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,819member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    I have trouble believing that. People who buy Apple products usually do their homework, instead of buying the most common thing like a Blackberry. Apple customers are usually much more technically sophisticated than average. The "about one half" can't be correct.



    Since I got my iPad I rarely turn on my Mac which also means I rarely sync my devices to iTunes. I've been to the Genius bar twice now with out of date firmware.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    deewindeewin Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    I have trouble believing that. People who buy Apple products usually do their homework, instead of buying the most common thing like a Blackberry. Apple customers are usually much more technically sophisticated than average. The "about one half" can't be correct.



    Well that's the thing about iPhones, from experience working at a cell phone retailer iPhones also appeal to people who are not technically savvy. I've seen so many angry customers return android phones because you actually have to learn how to use those devices and it's not as intuitive as iOS. iOS for the most part is easy to adapt and literally only takes seconds to learn the most basic features.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    I'd say the number of people bringing in iPhone's that haven't been backed up is roughly equivalent to the number who have set a pattern password (which has then been locked down when entered incorrectly too many times) on their Android devices without setting up a Google account.



    The difference is the iPhone is usually usable and the repair is covered by warranty whereas resetting an Android device costs $40.



    If you've ever worked in retail you learn never to underestimate people's stupidity even with the most detailed of instructions and advice.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member
    How many of these 'never backed up' fools will sign up for iCloud?



    Backing up takes effort. So does filling out a form and checking some boxes.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roktheworld27 View Post


    If they've never plugged it in to sync/back up, what makes you think they'll update to iOS 5? I know people still on 2.2.1, and 3.1.2,



    well eventually they buy a new phone and then the updates are pushed to them.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Pfft. I hate backing up. It takes to frackin' long. USB is slower than sh*t. Bring back FW.



    ...



    However, I do update often, but I don't sync every day. Maybe once every two weeks.



    You know, you could only always skip step 1 of 3 (or 4) to speed up syncing. Step 1 is the backing up part. Just click on the X at the right side of the status display window as soon as iTunes start syncing or when it start displaying it.



    Second tip, do not tick to sync your media that is available on your computer on your monthly backups.



    Third tip, if you have videos on one of your 3rd party video viewing app, delete them off your device first.



    So, I just do backup roughly monthly, only backing up settings and configuration. When I want to sync, I make sure it does not contain large files.



    I agree USB is too slow. They should have keep FireWire but then Windows userbase won't grow as much. I don't think Thunderbolt will solve this when only Macs and premium PC have these feature, not currently at least.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    freshh20freshh20 Posts: 19member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Pfft. I hate backing up. It takes to frackin' long. USB is slower than sh*t. Bring back FW.



    I plug my phone in to charge it. If I change my mind, I can unplug it anytime. But with iTunes, it takes a couple minutes to back up and then synchronize. (Yes, I hate interrupting the sync.) The wireless synching and iCloud features will be awesome. No more app synching. No more iPad to iPhone switching wondering which one had that file. They'll all be up to date.



    However, I do update often, but I don't sync every day. Maybe once every two weeks.



    Last I checked USB was faster than WI-FI.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post


    How many of these 'never backed up' fools will sign up for iCloud?



    Is free with every device.



    How many people (including the dumb lazy ones), will ignore a free offer on their phone for very long?



    I'm thinking the kind of folks that don't backup are the exact same folks that will be first in line for anything free.



    Gimmie, gimmie gimmie!
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