You may have read Thursday a report Apple has purchased equipment to store 12 petabytes (around 12,000 terabytes) of data, prompting some to suggest the deal targets the Cupertino, Calif. company’s expected cloud-based services. Friday, one Wall Street analyst said such huge amounts of data “dovetail nicely” with a ‘Cloud Tunes,’ an online version of Apple’s popular iTunes.
“We believe that Apple will release a new cloud strategy by the fall, likely integrating its MobileMe services and taking advantage of its significant investments in its North Carolina data center,” writes Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital.
Amazon recently beat Apple (and Google) to the punch, announcing CloudDrive, an Internet-based storage service for music that could then be streamed. Reitzes, however, believes Apple’s cloud-based iTunes service will be much more extensive.
“We believe the launch of Apple’s service is much more complex than Amazon’s given its millions of users with years worth of files.” Additionally, the analyst foresees Apple using the Internet to do more than simply stream tunes.
“Theoretically, a cloud-based content service could allow Apple to offer cheaper versions of its devices with less on board memory – which would help the company get more gadgets into the hands of consumers.”
As Apple has done in the past – using an MP3 player to reshape the music industry or introducing a tablet that knocks the props out of a failing PC industry – the tech giant likely could reshape both the Internet as well as the entire hardware sector. Now all we have to do is wait.