Apple Launches iCloud Website Beta, Reveals Pricing Structure
Apple recently enabled the web-based applications on its iCloud website, giving users access to the new tools. For a brief time, it looked like anyone with an existing account with Apple could access the site, but the company has quickly responded by locking it down to anyone other than developers. Fair enough, and the rest of us will get a shot at it in due time, but more importantly, Apple also revealed just what it will be charging users for access to its cloud services.
iCloud features are taking the place of MobileMe, giving you access to communications tools like Mail, Contacts, and Calendars, as well as the opportunity to back your files up to the cloud. You start off with 5GB of storage, but anything past that will cost you.
An additional 10GB of space, in addition to the free 5GB, will run you $20 a year. That rate of $2/GB/year holds out for the rest of the iCloud pricing, with an extra 20GB costing $40, and 50GB $100.
Granted, you’re getting a lot more with iCloud than just backup, but those rates sound a bit high. For comparison, the automatic cloud-based backup service offered by Mozy will cost you just $72 a year for 50GB of storage. With iCloud, though, you’re paying for the deep integration with iOS and your Mac desktop; we doubt many Apple users will raise much of a stink over these rates.