Larry Ellison may not be too keen on cloud computing, but his next-door neighbor Stephen P. Jobs certainly is. MobileMe (and its predecessor, .Mac) offer cloud storage and a range of other services for an annual fee. Apple’s acquisition of Lala suggested that iTunes may someday offer storage and streaming of music over the Internet—about which Apple has apparently been talking to content providers. Now there’s a new twist.
Cnet reports that Apple has been pitching the idea to several major film studios to grant iTunes users the ability to store and stream video from Apple’s own servers. Using “various internet-connected devices”—which I doubt includes Android phones—iTunes users would be able to access their purchased media on the go (presumably using Wi-Fi, but possibly over a 3G connection as well).
So what’s in it for Apple and for media companies? Cnet notes that as customers no longer have to micromanage disk space on their devices, they might be more likely to purchase more music and movies on the iTunes Store. And for Apple as a consumer hardware company, pushing music and movies to the cloud opens up the floodgates for bigger, more ambitious apps on storage-constrained devices such as the iPhone, the iPod, and the iPad. To date, the biggest apps on the App Store have been games, but if users have more free space available, we may soon see larger, more fully featured apps in other areas.