Apple’s iCloud launches, expands…swallowing movies too?

Apple’s iCloud launches, expands…swallowing movies too?

icloud_0Alongside iOS 5, Apple this week formally launched iCloud, which enables users to access content across all their Apple devices, regardless of which it was originally created or downloaded on.

Using iCloud, for instance, a photo taken on an iPhone can be instantly viewed on an iPad, and a document created on an iMac can be updated on an iPhone. And instead of uploading a user's full iTunes music library to the cloud, Apple uploads only what it doesn't already have in its own music collection, which it lends out from to eliminate hosting millions of duplicates.

Soon, iCloud users, across their multiple devices, may be purchasing and streaming movies as simply as they do songs. And as naturally.

According to the L.A. Times, Apple is in talks with a number of Hollywood studios about adding movies to its new cloud service.

According to the Times, iTunes is already responsible for 66% of online movie sales and rentals, in a flat market that, like last year, is expected to bring in $231 million by year's end.

This week a consortium of studios is also debuting UltraViolet, also a cloud-based movie service that can let people who purchased a movie on DVD or Blu-ray watch a streaming version of the film on various devices — a needed perk, with DVD sales falling.

Yesterday, tech company Skyfire announced that it's working with a major tier-one U.S. carrier and underdoing a number of trials across Europe and the U.S. It's new Rocket 2.0 technology enables video to travel more efficiently, enabling smartphone video, for example, to be delivered with a bandwidth savings of up to 75% (CP: Skyfire turns from mobile browsers to optimizing video for operators).

With Netflix streaming videos already accounting for 30% of U.S. Internet traffic, Apple's entrance in the game could bring new havoc to the skies.

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