RUMOR: Apple to debut new, free version of MobileMe in April

“Apple is set to announce a new, free version of MobileMe next month, according to a trusted iLounge source,” Charles Starrett reports for iLounge.

“The source was told that Apple will be supporting the existing version of MobileMe for the next year, suggesting that the new version will be quite different from the existing service; the extra year of support would likely cover those who recently paid for a full year of MobileMe, prior to Apple removing any method through which a user could pay for the service,” Starrett reports.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: On May 7, 2010, we reported on a tip we had received that Apple plans to make MobileMe free, stating, “No timeframe was given for MobileMe to go free, other than: ‘sooner than later… depends on certain facilities going operational.'”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple discontinues MobileMe retail boxes; preparing for free overhauled MobileMe? – February 24, 2011
Apple exploring major MobileMe revamp; considering making it free – February 14, 2011
Clues emerge that hint at free version of Apple’s MobileMe – June 4, 2010
RUMOR: Apple to make MobileMe free – May 7, 2010

49 Comments

  1. I actually liked the services in .mac before it became MobileMe. The only thing I didn’t like about it was you could only pay for a whole year – they didn’t have a monthly subscription option. As soon as they make it free, they will win me back as a subscriber. 🙂

  2. This is good. Mine lapsed and I didn’t renew, although I want the service back. It’s kinda annoying to pay for it, but I do understand SaaS. Anyway, hoping it goes free…

    1. Mine renews on April 4th, but I’m not going to cancel or let it lapse. I need the service and it sure would be great if they comp’d their membership, if they do open the doors for free.

      Why not just go ahead and turn it into another social site? Open the membership to the public and make Mobile Me a hub for all of Apple’s services. A hub that is not unlike a Mall where third-party’s could lease real estate, open their doors and offer services like online shopping. One stop shopping for clothing, books, music and movies, storage lockers, whatever.

      Apple would lease space for a premium on its servers for outfits like Cafe Press, iStockPhoto, etc.

      Imagine a place where online communities could meet each day to converse and share their media. Just because Ping has gotten off to a rough start, doesn’t mean Apple will abandon the concept. They’ll just repackage it and market it better.

      Anyway, with the new data center coming online shortly, I’m sure Apple will be able to handle all of the traffic they can stand.

  3. That would be shagelicious. Let’s all get wet for a free Mobile Me. And stay off the drugs.

    Apple giving away stuff for free? Someone in the deepest darkest dungeon of marketing must have forgotten to take his meds. “Meds! Meds!”

  4. How many times has it been rumored that MobileMe will become free?

    I’d rather pay a somewhat lower cost and get a service that is not clogged with a bunch of “freeloaders.” I know Apple will NOT go the ad-supported “free” route, so I don’t have to worry about the possibility of it being clogged with advertising too.

    Make it free for one-year with purchase of a new Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Drop the ongoing cost to something like $49 per year, or less.

    1. Agree with you ken1w, I’d rather pay a nominal fee or make it part of the hardware purchase, just so we get the fit and finish needed to make the service reliable, and not just, ‘it has a few problems, but it’s free’ route.

    2. Most people who don’t own stock in Apple love the free version idea Ken.. it might even get people to try it.

      The last time I tried the service was when it was called iTools (it was free then)

      1. It doesn’t really matter if “people” want something for free. I don’t think Apple will do it. Google and others have so-called “free” services, because they are supported by advertisers and other forms of non-user revenue. In those situations, the user of the service is no longer the “customer.” The real customers are the advertisers and others who pay a bill; the user becomes the “commodity.” I want to be Apple’s customer, not its commodity.

        Apple WILL do things as a “break-even” proposition (for no or low profit), as long as it helps to sell their hardware. The prime example is Apple’s music retail business. It probably does make a profit these days (through volume), but its main purpose is to help sell Apple hardware; it’s really a “value-added service” for Apple’s hardware customers, not a profit center. So is the App Store. So are some software products, such as iLife, and going forward (now that it is no longer being sold for $129), so is even Mac OS X.

        So NOT free, but at a lower cost. iTools was free, but guess what… It got replaced with a paid service. .Mac/MobileMe is currently priced with profit in mind. I think THAT will be the change, like with Mac OS X. MobileMe will be re-priced at whatever Apple determines to be a “break-even” price, so that it become another “value-added service” that helps sell Macs, iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

        1. That makes sense. I figured it was something that it’s an incentive to sell more Macs and iPhones and such, and they realized that they can give away the service for free, it will make the Apple fanboys happy, and the more happy Apple fanboys (and girls) people see, the more people will think about taking a look at the service and buying apple products. 🙂

          Using that logic, they could probably justify paying for the service with their marketing department dollars. 😉

  5. It would be nice for Apple to offer the cloud service for free. If Apple advertises it heavily enough that it’s free, more iOS products may be sold to consumers looking for free services along with their mobile devices. Apple needs every little edge it can get to move iDevices and draw consumers away from Android devices.

    1. Yes, I agree… especially because google does offer the free device syncing and stuff… not its’ not exactly totally free – after all, google supports it’s services with ads, but they can claim that it is free, versus the $99 for mobileme. that’s a lot of money, and more than enough to really sway someone from a purchase.

  6. Until iDisk catches up with Dropbox in functionality, it will be useless. I’ve used iDisk for 2-3 years now and over 9 months ago switched to Dropbox. No comparison in reliability, performance and features.

  7. Isn’t it likely the entry level will be free with larger storage space and maybe more facilities paid for?

    I’m not a fan of ‘free’. It’s not usually worth it.

  8. All I care about is having the ability to sync calendars between our 2 laptops and our 2 iPhones. Could care less about any of the other stuff. But I’d take a look at the rest if it was free.

  9. Anyone know how the free version will differ from the paid version (as we know it). WIll it offer email addresses, etc. Or will it be a Cloud for content serving. Either way, free is usually good (unless it is free from Google…then watch your security). I guess I’m asking if anyone anticipates it will be exactly like the current .mac account except it will be free.

    TIA

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