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iCloud Introduction and iPod Upgrades Send Mixed Messages

iPod Touch

Note: This is a guest post written by Brandy O

Many analysts and insiders predicted that last week’s Apple announcement would be the beginning of the end of the iPod – the signature device of the company’s previous decade. While the iPod Classic and Shuffle were left out of the discussion altogether, the Touch, aka iPhone Lite, and the Nano are going to get price cuts and groovy upgrades in time for the holiday season.

Ranging from $399 for the all-out 64GB Touch to $49 for the puny 2GB Nano, Apple’s state-of-the-art Mp3 players are evidently still selling enough for the company to continue to not only manufacture them, but upgrade them as well.

Yet all the while, the iCloud looms over the horizon, calling into question what exactly Apple is expecting customers to do when it comes to storing their media files.

The iCloud, if you didn’t know, is Apple’s segue into cloud computing not unlike Google’s Cloud Services. Users can pay a yearly fee to have access to a certain amount of space held inside the data centers Boston, Los Angeles, and other American cities have recently seen built over the last few years. This not only allows them to rely on off-site backup storage, it lets them rely less on the space of their own devices hard drives and most important of all, it allows them to share files between their Apple devices.

 

In combination with the cost-cutting and beefing up of the iPod lineup, Apple’s strategy either doesn’t add up or is too above my head to grasp. They want people to go out and purchase pricy, albeit, marked down devices packed with storage space, while at the same time they want them to buy up an annual iCloud storage slot of 55GB for nearly $2 a gigabyte, with prices and storage space going down from there. Since iOS5 is a requirement for iCloud, then it becomes apparent that you can’t have one without the other.

Maybe Apple thinks their loyal customers are happy to take up such an investment in media playing and storage in an era when either is accessible through your most basic smartphone and clever use of free online storage. Maybe they’re right. Apple understands its base better than any other tech company out there.

They understand the future better than any of their competitors as well. Apple’s decision to keep the Mp3 player and introduce the iCloud at the same time sounds like a greedy move, but as with most of the company’s decisions, it may very well pan out to be genius instead.

Note: This guest post was written by Brandy O. All images are courtesy of apple.com

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