If we are looking back to the original iMac and its strong focus on Internet services, then it is clear that Apple isn’t entirely new to the software-as-a-service (SAAS) arena and has made some experiences with online services tied to its products in the past.
Probably the most convincing Apple SAAS yet is mobile.me, a new service announced on Monday, which will enable over-the-air data syncing between Mac computers and the iPhone using a data push service.
According to Apple, mobile.me works with applications such as Mail, iCal, Gallery and Address Book on the Mac as well as Outlook on Windows PC. Changes made on the Mac/PC/iPhone are uploaded to mobile.me and synchronized with other registered devices. Apple’s iDisk service is also part of mobile.me and allows users to send files to people directly from the online storage application.
As expected, mobile.me will become the rebranded .Mac service. And no, the service will not be free. A 60-day free trial is included with iPhone 2.0. After that, Apple will charge $99 per year with 20 GB of storage space.