by Joe White
June 21, 2011
Apple's iCloud service could use up 750 million gigabytes of data at least, according to a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets. The survey, which recently reached our attention via Business Insider, asked a group of iPhone owners a variety of different questions - and the results have proved to be rather interesting. First, 76 percent of iPhone owners questioned will use Apple's free iCloud services. These grant users access to a total of five gigabytes of storage "in the cloud." Second, only 30 percent are willing to cough up $25 per year for the use of iTunes Match. And third, 73 percent are planning on sending iMessages to friends and family. On the surface, this is unsurprising - of course, a large chunk of iPhone owners are going to take advantage of iCloud. After all, the service will be deeply integrated within iOS 5 - indeed, it wouldn't be unfair to suggest that around three quarters of iOS device owners (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) will take advantage of the service's free offerings. The same goes for iMessages - though the people surveyed may not have understood that Apple's Messages app automatically sends iMessages when possible in iOS 5 - meaning the only way to completely avoid it is to disable the feature in the Settings app. And regarding iTunes Match, not everyone needs the service - therefore it's unsurprising that only 30 percent are planning on adopting it. Now, on to the interesting part. Let's make the leap and say that, in line with this survey, around 75 percent of iOS device owners are going to use iCloud. As mentioned, Apple is handing out five gigabytes of free storage to users, and at the WWDC keynote, it was announced that there are now more than 200 million iOS device owners out in the world. A quick math-attack tells me that, in line with the survey, 150 million iOS device owners could adopt iCloud when it launches, meaning that - with up to five gigabytes offered for free - Apple's cloud-based service could weigh-in at 750 million gigabytes from the beginning. That's a lot of gigabytes. Obviously, it could be that the survey isn't a true representation of what's actually going to happen - or, perhaps the percentage of iOS device owners planning on adopting the service isn't quite 75 percent. A lesser percentage could take advantage of Apple's free iCloud services - but more could, too. And it would be wrong of us not to mention the possibility that Apple might not roll out iCloud internationally this year, and that the launch could intially be US-only. Of course, this would affect the situation. All we can do is wait and see how many Apple fans adopt iCloud when it launches, later this year. We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts in the comments.