Feeds

MobileMe packages disappear from Apple's shelves

You can have it, but you can't pay for it

Application security programs and practises

Apple's MobileMe service is running fine, but the $99 annual package has disappeared from both virtual and physical shelves in what some reckon is a prelude to the service going free.

The package disappeared from the online store, and Apple Insider has apparently been taking to Apple retailers who report that both the single user and family pack (the latter costing $149 for five accounts) options have been listed as "end of life" by Apple. Combine that with tonight's scheduled downtime for maintenance and you've got a perfect storm for rumour and supposition.

Apple certainly has big plans for its cloud-based synchronisation service, and the company has already said that its new, huge data centre in North Carolina will be iTunes related. The New York Times has already said that Apple is going to start bundling access to MobileMe with its hardware, but the same report refers to the half-size iPhone, which has since been dismissed by many Apple watchers.

Apple's ability to charge for MobileMe has surprised many in the industry. Google and Microsoft give away the same kind of personal information management (PIM) synchronisation for calenders and contacts, not to mention a few Gig of cloud storage, for nothing. It seemed impossible that Apple customers would pay for such things, but despite several initial hiccups the service has been running happily.

It seems unlikely Apple would just decide to start handing it out free, unless it was going to evolve into something bigger – that North Carolina server farm could synchronise an awful lot of calenders and is certainly planned for something bigger.

Cloud-based iTunes is coming, probably streaming content to iPods (and iPhones) everywhere (or, more likely, everywhere with Wi-Fi coverage), but why that would require giving away MobileMe isn't clear. We obviously asked Apple, and they obviously declined to acknowledge our existence, so we'll just have to wait and see. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.