The new iPhone 4S is not merely an improvement on the already successful iPhone 4. It indicates a radical sleight of the hand in business focus for Apple, away from hardware and onto software and online services. In particular, the iCloud is now an integral feature, and perhaps the chief feature of the iPhone, from here on out.
Yes, Siri, which utilizes the iCloud, is here to stay. Of course, they may want to rethink the name, since this is too close to a widely used term for “ass” in Japanese. Nevertheless, the feature will irreversibly tie in the iPhone with the iCloud. Coupled with the new iOS5, millions will be stress testing the new operating system and the iCloud capabilities.
Backing up and synchronizing gadgets onto the iCloud will become a regular habit. The branding campaign has reinventing Apple’s failed efforts of MobileMe and nearly erased collective memory over it, nearly as well as the Soviet Communists used to erase some politician who had fallen out of favor with the Party.
Their Maiden North Carolina facility was supposed to run them $1 billion over nine years, starting in 2009. However, they’ve already burned through three-quarters of a billion on the building structures alone. They haven’t even scratched the surface of purchasing servers, R&D, personnel, buying storage equipment, licensing, or bandwidth fees. Not only that, they have started a poker game at such a high in, that few players can enter. How many companies have $1billion to invest in cloud computing?
The tax breaks they are reaping from the government helps counter some of the weight of the investment. However, reality has far surpassed projections for costs already, and they are not nearly finished. Consider that the company has spent $1billion since 2006 total on equipment, properties and plant, but only $250million of that was on the antiquated HP campus at Cupertino. You can guess where the other $750 million went – the iCloud data center in North Carolina.
The services of iCloud, iTunes, and Siri may seem trivial, but this kind of investment power reveals the depth of commitment Apple has placed on them. The company even gambled on it before the first 250 billion users had signed on.
One thing this kind of technology changes is that it shifts the distribution from local to remote and the value from pawning wares onto the user to begging them for knowledge about them. In order to manage in this kind of game you must have this level of data center that Apple has built. Considering this is a glimpse at the future, there will be very few players left in the game. Capabilities and acquisition suddenly are out of reach of nearly every company on the planet. This may in fact indicate why this kind of game will never become the face of the industry, without a little help from the intelligence communities. After all, they have a big stake in keeping the playing field small and chiefly American.
Microsoft placed a back door into all business and government computers on the planet for the intelligence agents to monitor. Now Apple will bring the manufacturers in the industry under control as well and bring the information home on everyone on the planet.