Apple is about to lead the development of a brand new industry if a new Forrester Research report is correct. After evaluating the new Apple iCloud service and its history with MobileMe, the analysts conclude that paying subscribers will flock to personal clouds
A key factor driving the shift is the state of the personal computing market.
The personal computing experience for individuals is broken, ruptured by the fragmentation of personal information across PCs and mobile devices and the scattering of content across a multitude of online service
The report backs up the sales pitch that Steve Jobs made in his iCloud intro, as he described the frustration users face as they work overtime to keep their phones, laptops and music players in synch and backed up. Forrester concludes that Apple’s MobileMe was a weak first-generation product that proves there is a market. According to the Financial Post,
The Forrester report notes MobileMe nonetheless continues to serve approximately 3 million subscribers with each of them paying an average of US$80 in subscription fees annually.
Since Apple is the leader by far in serving this market, it’s a pretty safe conclusion that the global personal cloud market is well below one-half billion right now.
The analysts conclude that Apple is well-positioned to lead this market, noting that Google is offering a weak, disjointed user experience with multiple entry points and Microsoft is distracted by its efforts to establish a foothold in the market for handheld devices.
The full $2,495 report can be downloaded from Forrester’s website.