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Apple to Offer iCloud for Free? Low Debut Price for Mac OS X Lion?

According to Apple Insider, they have a source that claims that Apple will most likely offer a part of their upcoming cloud storage service, iCloud for free to users who will avail of the next major release of OS X, the Mac OS X Lion.

iPhone iCloud
There have been many speculations that iCloud will replace or expand upon Apple's current MobileMe service. In addition to syncing emails, stored files, calendars, bookmarks and contacts, iCloud is speculated to enable users to stream their music in the iTunes library.

People familiar with Apple's plans indicated to AppleInsider that at least one of those secrets is expected to be that at least some of the services included in iCloud will be offered for free to Mac users who make the upgrade to Lion. iCloud is expected to replace the company's existing MobileMe service, which offers e-mail and remote file storage, along with syncing of bookmarks, contacts and calendar events, at a price tag of $99 per year.

That price tag may remain for users who do not make the upgrade to Lion, or for Windows users. But it is expected that the cloud services will become free to Mac users who run the latest version of Mac OS X.

Mac OS X Lion
It is still unclear which feature of the iCloud will be provided free for adopters of OS X Lion, but one thing's for sure, music streaming won't be one of them. This is because Apple has been recently dealing with major music labels and publishers for music licensing, so it is safe to assume that it wasn't exactly cheap for them. Chances are high that this will be a paid feature for everyone. At best, Apple will be offering a free trial period to entice users to sign-up.

Another "not so reliable" source of Apple Insider claims that Apple may set a low price point for the Mac OS X Lion when bought through the App Store. This claim is not really that far-fetched because if anyone can recall, Snow Leopard launched with a $29 price tag. And that was proven to be a great success as it easily doubled Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard's sales.

We'll know more for sure in next week's WWDC, so be sure to stay tune with us.

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