Analyst: Apple's iCloud could see 150 million users

More than 75 percent of iPhone users intend to use Apple's iCloud service, says a new survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets, which believes the number of iCloud users could reach 150 million.

Techlinking.com

Apple could sign up as many as 150 million iPhone users to its new iCloud service, according to projections based on a survey from RBC Capital Markets.

In a report released today, RBC found that 76 percent of the 1,500 iPhone users polled from June 7 to 14 intend to use the iCloud service. Unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, iCloud will allow iOS device users to store, access, and sync their iTunes content online.

iMessage also should be a hot item, according to RBC. The survey found 73 percent of iPhone users plan to use Apple's upcoming new text messaging service, which RBC projects might mean 150 million iMessage users in total.

The iMessage service, a feature in iOS 5, could boost loyalty among existing iPhone users and convince the 60 million iPod Touch users to pick the iPhone over Android or other competing phones if they upgrade, according to the report.

Finally, iTunes Match proved enticing to 30 percent of those surveyed, who said they'd be likely to spend $24.99 per year for the new service. Part of iCloud, iTunes Match lets users store any music not purchased or available through iTunes in the cloud. Based on the survey, RBC is projecting that iTunes Match could add another $1.5 billion a year to Apple's annual revenue.

Looking down the road, RBC believes Apple will add additional services through iCloud, including audio and video streaming, photo and video sharing, hosted Time Machine backups, and document management and storage. The iCloud service will be accessible from all iOS devices and possibly even entry-level items like the iPod Nano and Shuffle, the report said.

Overall, RBC sees iCloud and iTunes as a strong combination, helping Apple continue to retain and grow a devoted customer base.

"Because it stores user data, iCloud, along with iTunes is expected to enhance loyalty and stickiness of Apple's customers, helping defend against threats from Android, helping grow a defensible install base of users who continually upgrade to next generation Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods," the report said.

 

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