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.Mac a missed opportunity

updated 03:30 pm EDT, Thu May 22, 2008

.Mac opportunity

Apple's .Mac service, once a promising method for sharing media, performing online backups and more, has paled in the presence of free alternatives and represents an untapped opportunity for Apple according to a recent report from CNET. The articles posits "$99 a year is hard to justify for the .Mac service. 10GBs of storage? I can get that for $20 from Google, and I can get much more if I want it. Photo sharing? I can do that for free on Flickr, and upload as many photos and videos as I want for $24.95 a year. Build my own Web site? Lots of services offer that capability for free."

The real value of .Mac lies in its Mac OS X integration. You can share photos from iPhoto with a single click, sync contacts and more for easy backup, and perform other useful functions from within the iLife suite and elsewhere. However, that value offer isn't proving compelling for Mac customers: the entire "Software, Service, and other sales" category that includes .Mac revenue accounted for $529 million in revenue during its most recent quarter, and Leopard upgrades counted for a large portion of that total.

Some have suggested that Apple make .Mac free -- a loss leader that would help to move more Mac and iPhone units. Alternatively, the company could dramatically reduce the price, perhaps in half, and increase the online storage capacity as well as enhance offered services. Yet still, the company could give away .Mac subscriptions with new Mac purchases.

by MacNN Staff





  1. dagamer34

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too much $ for too little

    I really WANT to get .Mac but $99 a month isn't very compelling for what it offers. I think it centers too much around the e-mail component, when in this day and age, anyone paying for e-mail is crazy with Gmail offering 6GB and Yahoo! with no limits.

    I'd like to see tigher integration with Time Machine. There are always those few documents which you ABSOLUTELY cannot loose and .Mac can solve that problem with ease. Also, make it cheaper!

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $99 a year...

    ...not a month. a year.

  1. sixcolors

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's cheap

    it's $99/year that's less than $9/month

  1. sailin74

    Joined: Dec 1969



    9$ a month for ad free email, and the capability to sync files and address books and mail settings between computers is worth it to me. Never mind encrypted video chat, web access to synced files, and web hosting. Yeah it's expensive, but it's not THAT expensive. Buy a boxed version on when it's on sale.

  1. factorguy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's lame

    I had a .Mac account from the day it opened for business until last Fall. I finally couldn't justify the expense. As described in this piece, most of what .Mac offers is readily available for free. The one nice thing .Mac offers is the Sync feature. If you have multiple Macs, it's a great way to keep them all in sync. However, I wrote a few Automator actions that backs up the essential bits (Address Book, Bookmarks, Preferences, Keychain), and saves them in a central location where I can retrieve them and update a Mac if necessary.

    The one thing that could draw me back to paying $99/year for .Mac would be if the email gained push capability to the iPhone. Apart from that, I'll continue to use the free alternatives.

  1. simdude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    back to mac

    Ok, you can do remote control knowing an IP and using any VNC client, but it's so easy with .Mac its another nice feature. Web gallery's make posting a nice photo site a breeze. Yes, you can do any of this cheaper and yet every one of my co-workers/friends that tell me this never has a site as nice as mine or they are always out of date. It always comes down to, "well, I could if I wanted to, but i don't want to spend the time to maintain it". That's the whole point. I DON'T spend the time. Take my $9 Apple. My time is worth more than that.

  1. YangZone

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $30- would be ok.

    $30- would be OK for .Mac. No more than that. And $20- per 10GB of extra storage.

  1. Super Glitcher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's awesome

    It all depends on your needs. For me it offers a low-maintenance way to host and maintain a site with iWeb - .mac alone isn't worth it, but integrated with iLife it's insanely useful.

    Like I said though, it depends on your needs and what you want.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    google gmail is better

    The integration google's gmail offers with its spreadsheet and docs tools (also free), and google calendar make it a no-brainer to use gmail. Dot mac was a no brainer when it was free, but a hundred bucks a year just doesn't cut it. I'd rather buy a tank of gas and go to the movies. Apple can make it free and add features if they want, but it's hard to imagine coming back from gmail -- I get almost no spam at all, and my dot mac account never managed to figure out how to filter out email addresses that obviously were not mine.

  1. koolkid1976

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's $69.99

    When you buy it from Is that a better price for you? Thanks sailin74 for the Amazon suggestion.

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