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Apple iCloud Vulnerable To Carriers' Whims

However great the Apple iCloud (and indeed any cloud based services), it will still have a fatal flaw; its Achilles' heel remains its dependency on mobile phone operators especially when on the move and roaming around.

iTunes in the Cloud for example allows you to automatically download new music purchases over Wi-Fi or 3G while most data traffic is expected to be handled by Wi-Fi, be it personal or wireless hotspots, according to analysts.

Steve Jobs' mantra at the WWDC keynote was that Apple was moving to a Post PC era, one where devices are untethered, cutting the USB & Ethernet cables and relying as much as possible on wireless networks.

Apple must have taken a calculated risk by assuming that users that will embrace the iCloud services and have regular access to reliable and fast Wi-Fi networks or otherwise they will be clamouring for the good ol' cables.

In the UK, only O2 and BT offer unlimited Wi-Fi access via their extensive Wi-Fi hotspot networks and even then, getting hold of a signal, especially in a crowded area, is not guaranteed.

Orange and Vodafone both offer metered Wi-Fi data allowance while both T-Mobile and Three UK do not currently offer Wi-Fi access with their smartphones. No mobile phone operators, other than Three UK, are offering unlimited mobile data plans and all the other major carriers have enforced a maximum of 1GB data allowance on their iPhone price plans.

This means that if ever users have to sync their iOS devices with Apple's icloud using a means other than Wi-Fi, they may find themselves facing a hefty fee for over usage or simply being unable to use their data allowance as freely as they'd wish.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.