Analysts weigh in on Apple's iCloud
A number of analysts have sounded off about Apple's iCloud which was unveiled yesterday by Steve Jobs during a WWDC 2011 keynote in San Francisco.
As expected, most industry experts responded positively to Apple's new platform, which is designed to function seamlessly across multiple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Windows PC.
For example, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes iCloud will help Cupertino increase the chances of consumers purchasing multiple iOS devices.
Munster also praised Apple's decision to "cut the [PC] cord" with iOS 5, which allows users to operate/sync/update their iPhone or iPad without tethering to a computer.
Meanwhile, Brian Marshall (Ticonderoga Securities) says iCloud will bolster the "stickiness" of Apple's ecosystem.
Nevertheless, the analyst was quick to point out the service was unlikely to nudge Cupertino's "financial needle" in the near future.
According to Marshall, Apple is more focused on the long-term for iCloud, as it is a service "brimming with functionality" and "will likely far exceed community expectations," with a full list of key features, such as wireless sync, documents in the cloud and iTunes in the Cloud.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky expressed similar sentiments, opining that iCloud optimally positions Apple for a "post-PC" world and is a "possible game changer" for the company.
"We believe we may see new devices in time, based off iCloud services," he added.
However, Alex Gauna of JMP Securities remains relatively unimpressed with Apple's version of the cloud, describing it as a simple evolutionary step which is "cloudier, with less lightning bolts, than normal."
Gauna said he was particularly disappointed with Apple's lack of new hardware, as next-gen devices were needed to "stem the tide of faster Android adoption, or to make enterprise inroads."
Still, Gauna conceded Lion and iOS 5 updates were "likely to please the Apple faithful and keep Apple products best in class with regard to intuitiveness and usability."
Similarly, J.P. Morgan's Mark Moskowitz adopted a rather conservative approach to Apple's latest platform, saying there was "no wow factor at WWDC."
Nevertheless, Moskowitz acknowledged iCloud and iOS 5 will likely keep Apple at least one step ahead of the competition.
"While WWDC did not introduce a major, new product category or refresh, we think there were plenty of incremental building blocks for driving above-peer revenue growth... Of note, the iCloud service stands to further cement Apple's role in constructing a 'way of life' for the user."