Apple Extends Free iCloud Storage for MobileMe Users to Sept. 30

| Product News

MobileMe members migrating to Apple’s iCloud service will get to keep their complimentary additional data storage allotment until September 30, 2012, according to an official MobileMe to iCloud transition FAQ posted at Apple’s website. The announcement affects paid MobileMe members with the standard 20 GB storage allotment who received 20 GB of free iCloud storage at the time of their migration to the service, and those at the optional 40 GB and 60 GB tiers who received 50 GB of iCloud storage.

“MobileMe members with 20GB of purchased storage receive a complimentary iCloud storage upgrade of 20GB, and accounts with additional purchased storage (40GB to 60GB) receive a complimentary upgrade of 50GB after moving to iCloud. These free upgrades are good through September 30th, 2012. After that date, you can continue the upgrade at the regular price or let it expire and use the free 5GB plan,” Apple’s FAQ states. 

iCloud Storage OptionsiCloud’s additional storage options.

iCloud, officially launched last October, offers all users 5 GB of free storage for email, documents, application data, and device backups. Purchased iTunes content does not count towards the 5 GB limit.

This contrasts with MobileMe, a US$99 per year paid service that included 20 GB of email and general purpose storage with options to increase to 40 GB or 60 GB of storage for additional yearly fees.

While Apple suggests that, due to purchased content’s exclusion from the storage allotment, iCloud’s 5 GB is enough for most users, the company’s offer to temporarily match MobileMe members’ storage capacities helped alleviate customer concerns about migrating to iCloud, something important for both customers and Apple, as the MobileMe service is set to shut down June 30, 2012.

Those not migrating from MobileMe, or those former MobileMe members who wish to keep their additional storage after the free period expires September 30 can do so via their iDevice by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Buy More Storage. In addition to the 5 GB provided for free, users can purchase 10, 20, or 50 GB of storage for $20, $40, or $100 per year, respectively. 

[via Mac Otakara & AppleInsider]

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The idea that 5GB should be enough now that purchased content is excluded is laughable.

One of the things that attracted me to MobileMe was the ability to store a copy of my iPhoto library in the cloud. I’m an occasional photographer (I haven’t touched my camera in a month), yet my iPhoto library now exceeds 25GB. Forget about putting my iTunes library in the cloud. It’s 10x the size of the iPhoto one and most of my music isn’t available from iTunes so I’d have to upload the whole thing.

Not only would uploading 300GB take an awfully long time, it would exceed the data cap on my internet account.

I know the cloud will continue to grow in speed and capacity, but once I start shooting HD video of my kids the amount of data I need to back up will grow even faster.

MobileMe used to be a sharing tool. A limited selection of my library could be posted in galleries. Now we have photo stream which is more of a syncing tool for mobile devices logged into my account. Apple is telling me I need to sell myself to Flickr or Picassa if I want to share photos with family members in other parts of the country.

It’s a good thing iCloud is free because that’s all its worth.

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