Apple's Market Dominance Spells Success for iCloud

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Skeptics are wrong to think that the company's new storage service has too much competition, as the tech giant's other products will provide it an advantage

590 icloud REUTERS Beck Diefenbach.jpg

On Monday, Apple announced its new storage service, iCloud. The platform will combine application services on multiple kinds of devices with a seamlessly integrated online, cloud storage system. The service is meant to help users manage content, such as music and photos, in a way that makes their "digital life" (a term used by Steve Jobs) easier. This means that users will not be chained down by connecting devices, such as their iPads and iPods, to their computers to sync files. The syncing is automatic.

Apple has produced a number of wildly popular products over the years. Some of these were successful because they were so new that there was no real competition, like the iPad. Others have excited consumers by improving on existing products developed by competitors. In both cases, the reoccurring feature among Apple's products has been nearly peerless design and user experience. It was what people have come to expect from the brand.

Apple now has a chance to prove its reputation again with iCloud. The comany's products have always seamlessly merged software, services and hardware. It is impossible to imagine the popularity of the iPod without iTunes, and vice versa. The same holds true for the iPhone and the App Store. The iCloud, in a way, is the culmination of this strategy. "This is a milestone in computing," said Mike McCue, co-founder of magazine app Flipboard in the New York Times. "The fact that you no longer have to think in terms of files and folders is a big deal."

Although there have been other products made to link devices through data storage, such as Dropbox, it is likely that Apple's iCloud will take the idea further and do it with more style. If the company's history is any indication, Apple may become a leader in cloud computing. The company has sold over 15 billion songs through its iTunes store and over 14 billion apps through its App Store. This customer base is what gives Apple an immediate edge. The fact that Google and Amazon already have cloud platforms on the market does not necessarily mean they will be more successful than Apple. Apple has excelled in a number of markets already, proving that it almost always does better than the competition -- even if the competition comes to market first.

Here are five markets that Apple already dominates:




Image Credit: REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

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Douglas A. McIntyre and Michael B. Sauter are editors of 24/7 Wall St., a Delaware-based financial news and opinion operation that produces content for sites including MarketWatch, DailyFinance, Yahoo! Finance, and TheStreet.com.

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