updated 11:55 am EST, Thu February 24, 2011
Likely foreshadowing free overhaul
Apple is notifying resellers that it has stopped shipping boxed copies of MobileMe, reports say. While resellers can continue to sell remaining stock, once all boxes are gone, no more will be forthcoming. The boxed copies exist mostly for retail promotion, as they only contain an activation code.
Apple has moreover dropped MobileMe as an option when ordering Macs from its online store. The combination of the two changes may reinforce notions that MobileMe is on the verge of a major overhaul. The service is expected to become free, and become a "media locker," giving iOS users a way of accessing their music, photos and/or video without syncing it.
Some rumors have hinted at real-time social networking features, or even live video streaming. In any case Apple has confirmed that its new North Carolina data center is for iTunes and MobileMe, and should finally begin operations in the spring. More may be revealed at an Apple press event next week, although the presentation is expected to revolve around a second-generation iPad.