Apple’s MobileMe + iTunes + App Store = ???

This is a great question to pose now that Apple is putting the finishing touches to its billion dollar data centre.

Of Apple’s three current cloud offerings, MobileMe is probably the most notorious, having been around for rather a long time now, first free, then not, then given an overhaul, repackaged, and again dutifully ignored by many of their faithful.

iTunes and the App Store have, in contrast, seen meteoric rises to fame over a very short period of time, enabling Apple to deal first in music, then video, and now in pretty much anything from books to pdfs as well as apps from the newly tagged-on app store. Despite its rather outdated and inaccurate nomenclature, iTunes really is pretty special, particularly for Apple, but it is merely the start of things to come.

Now, buried within the settings of Apple’s recently updated iBooks app, you can switch on “synching”. This rather innocuous feature may not seem particularly significant when iBooks is used on a single device, but used on both an iPhone and an iPad you now have the capability of reading a book on one that then automatically updates the current page on the other wirelessly with no user intervention required. The synching technology behind the scenes? Your humble iTunes account.

Quietly, and rather nonchalantly, Apple has slipped its first piece of MobileMe-esque cloud communication and synching technology into iTunes, at this stage giving them a small test bed to enable them to eek out any behind-the-scenes issues, but ultimately giving them one hell of an expansion opportunity.

And expand it they will, because right now they are staring down the barrel of two cloud technologies. MobileMe, has a subscription fee, has become a little crusty and underpowered, has low uptake and is desperately in need of a revamp to keep it inline with its competitors. The second, iTunes, well, nearly everyone has it, nearly everyone has an account with it, nearly everyone likes it, and it is far in advance of the competition, whilst being completely free. And now it is starting to be used to delve into the world of wireless synching across the multitude of Apple devices.

It would seem that Apple are readying themselves for one rather awe-inspiring software merger, and with the new data centre later this year, they will finally have the capacity to make it a success. And it’s a smart move. They have consumer’s homes in the palms of their hands right now, and a multi-tiered move like this would very quickly shore-up their advantage against the likes of Google who are desperately trying to get a foothold into an extremely lucrative technology segment.

So, renaming iTunes to iMedia, folding the current MobileMe offerings into it, and pushing forward on not just app synching, but full multi-device, multi-OS synching, along with cloud storage for all, with access to all personal documents and data, all of the time, wherever you are in the world on whatever device you have to hand, and, well…

Kinda takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

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