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iCloud Storage Upgrade Pricing Announced

iCloud will come with 5 GB of storage as part of a free account, but Apple said when it announced the MobileMe replacement that you could buy additional gigabytes. The fees and storage sizes have now been disclosed. Adding 10 GB, 20 GB, or 50 GB of iCloud space (for totals of 15, 25, and 55 GB) costs $20, $40, or $100 per year, respectively. (For background on iCloud, see “iCloud Rolls In, Extended Forecast Calls for Disruption,” 6 June 2011.)

iCloud storage doesn’t count the storage of apps, nor any music nor books you purchase from the iTunes Store. It also excludes photos uploaded via the upcoming Photo Stream service, which could run into the gigabytes for the last 30 days’ worth of up to 1,000 photos. But music you sync using the forthcoming $24.99-per-year iTunes Match service runs up your total, except songs matched in the iTunes Store, apparently. Any documents or files stored by iOS apps, as well as Mac OS X apps, also count against the total. (Videos aren’t synced via iCloud, but require local iTunes Wi-Fi or USB sync to connect to computers
and iOS devices.)

The iCloud fees aren’t excessive compared to similar sync and storage services. Dropbox charges roughly $120 per year (in $9.99 per month installments) for 50 GB of storage, while Amazon charges just $50 per year for that amount of storage on Cloud Drive. Google is cheap at $20 per year for 80 GB for storage that’s shared across all Google services, and that ostensibly includes its still-in-beta music locker offering. However, all three companies count everything you upload against their storage quotas. That could be a significant discrepancy. (All three services
offer larger amounts, and Amazon and Google have smaller quantities, too.)

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