Thursday, June 9, 2011

iCloud: What Does It Mean For Storage Solutions? Probably Good Things

Steve Jobs always has a way to make sure the spotlight is on Apple and its visions.  And sometimes, this is bad for competitors.  Other times, it could be a good thing because Apple creates a mindset in the consumer that was not there before.  Take the iPhone.  Before the iPhone was introduced and sold in 2007, the smartphone market was very stagnant.  Then with the App Store, things just exploded.  And what does iCloud mean for, Dropbox, and others?

It does mean competition to some extent.  And that's what a free battlefield in every market means.  You've got established players and once in a while a new guy comes in and plays by a different set of rules.  The incumbents will have to decide a deal to deal with things.  Either innovate  and adapt or get wiped out.  The current crop of cloud storage solutions will have to find a way to provide value in ways that Apple's iCloud isn't.  And here's the thing to know about Apple:  they never try to be all things to everyone.  And that means opportunities for others to compete.  

Right now, I see Google and Microsoft definitely competing big time, even on iOS devices, Apple turf.  For someone like Dropbox, I definitely see some changes coming.  

Furthermore, iCloud will bring attention to the likes of Dropbox to the average mobile warrior that would otherwise not happen or will take lots of advertising dollars to make that happen.  iCloud could be more effective for competitors than any expensive advertising campaign can do.  Apparently, PC World agrees with me.

It all comes to down to how iCloud competitors want to deal with Apple.  Innovate and compete is the best way to go about it.  I definitely will continue to use Dropbox despite iCloud.  And also keep in mind that while iCloud will be a huge change for how iOS and Mac users deal with data, 75% of the market will not have access to iCloud.  That is hundreds of millions of users who can use third party storage solutions.

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