iCloud: Why Apple Disclosed Cloud Service Early

Last Updated May 31, 2011 12:44 PM EDT

Apple (APPL) just announced iCloud, its long-rumored cloud-based backup service. No, scratch that: Apple announced that it will announce iCloud at this Monday's Worldwide Developer's Conference. Why is Apple announcing its upcoming announcements? Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOG) are moving way too fast for the tech giant to keep up. Apple is scared.

The iCloud Announcement's Announcement
According to Apple Insider, Apple's brief iCloud announcement came in the wee hours of this morning. It simply called iCloud "Apple's upcoming cloud services offering" and gave no further details. The official announcement will be this Monday, 10 a.m. PST, in San Francisco.

Today's iCloud note was scant on info, but enough information has leaked to figure out the details:

Apple Playing Catch Up
So, why did Apple announce its service a week early? Its competitors are all over the cloud space. Apple realized that it needed to react as soon as possible to the rapidly-developing area.
In other words, the competition is already doing what iCloud seems to be offering. The truth is that Apple should have moved into the cloud space sooner. It acquired the online music service Lala two years ago. Google even announced its music ambitions back in 2009. As TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld says, the "pre-announcement... raises a whole host of other questions" - namely, how can Apple differentiate itself from the other, free cloud services available. We'll see next week if it can.

Photo courtesy of DRB62 // CC 2.0
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