With the release of iOS 4.2 last month, Apple made one of the attractive feature of MobileMe “Find My iPhone/iPad” free to all. But still the rest of MobileMe features are not free as rumored. Well, maybe not yet. We are predicting that Apple will release more MobileMe features as free in 2011 to keep iOS competitive to Android platform, here are possible hints and reasons.
Apple’s gigantic new data center at North Carolina has started to be online in the last quarter of 2010. It is obvious that Apple build this new facility to handle growth and new requirements, requirements that is hugh by any measure. Many has speculated that Apple build the new data centre for its inroad to cloud computing, specifically the much rumored music-in-the-cloud service. We would like to suggest that this new data centre is build also for free MobileMe services in mind.
The recent free offering of “Find My iPhone/iPad” is actually a test pilot by Apple, an attempt to roll out one single free feature to see how its MobileMe backend system can handle the load. This roll out also completes one task Apple engineers are busy with, that is the integration between Apple ID with MobileMe login. (Apple ID is used by Apple Store online as well as iTunes/iBooks/Game Centre, while MobileMe uses a different login id until the recent integration). So the free “Find My iPhone/iPad” roll out helps to test out the future readiness of MobileMe, when more MobileMe features will be offered for free.
This pilot ‘test’ run is necessary for Apple to gauge the capacity when it rolls our more MobileMe features free. It make senses for Apple to offer some of its MobileMe feature for free. Besides “Find My iPhone/iPad”, Apple needs to make MobileMe Mail/Contacts/Calendar sync free as this is one advantage Google/Android has. iDisk could possible be free for a 2G storage with paid subscription getting the full 20GB.
Steve Jobs in his reply for a user’s comments that MobileMe sucks, that “Yes, it will get a lot better in 2011”. We don’t see how the existing MobileMe could get a lot better by more features or user interface changes. The Steve Jobs response points to likely more MobileMe freebies on the way. That’s the only way Apple could entice more users to be enrolled comfortably into its own eco without noticing the grass on the other side.