Feeds

MobileMe packages disappear from Apple's shelves

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.