Last week we reported that Apple was ahead of Google in launching a cloud music service, a digital locker of sorts that would allow users to store and stream their iTunes music. Apple's momentum continues, striking at least two out of four successful deals with the record companies, and spurring rumors of a new "iCloud" branding after it was rumored that the company spent $4.5 million to acquire the domain iCloud.com. Now, it is further speculated that the iCloud will be serving up more than just music.
According to sources familiar with the situation, Apple is already using the name iCloud internally with several of the associated products it's developing for their cloud service. They say that Apple is preparing beta versions of iOS 5.0 and Mac OS X Lion that can integrate with the iCloud. Users will be able to sync and store information on the iCloud much like they currently do with Apple's MobileMe service. It is believed that Apple is busy at work to have this ready to demo at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, five weeks from now.
Apple may completely replace their MobileMe service with the new iCloud. However, the MobileMe service was rumored back in March to become a free service that could enhance Apple's ecosystem and boost sales of the company's devices. It is not certain whether the iCloud would be a free or paid service. It could initially start as a free service that would then require additional fees perhaps for more storage or premium features.