When Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage on Monday to unveil the company’s highly-anticipated iCloud offering, many began to wonder about the fate of MobileMe, Apple's oft-maligned cloud-based sync and storage product.
The Cupertino, Calif., company answered that question later on Monday by sending an email to current MobileMe subscribers explaining that the service will be shuttered next summer.
“Your MobileMe subscription will be automatically extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge,” Apple's email read. “After that date, MobileMe will no longer be available.”
The shuttering of MobileMe doesn't come as a great surprise. The $99 annual fee service failed to develop a significant following, leading many to believe that the shelf life of the product was waning. Apple then pulled the product from its online store in February.
In fact, Jobs acknowledged during the iCloud unveiling on Monday that MobileMe “wasn't [Apple's] finest hour.”
Fortune's Inside Apple recently reported that an irate Jobs assembled the MobileMe team in 2008 to discuss the product's flawed launch and why the Wall Street Journal's tech guru, Walt Mossberg , refused to recommend it to readers.
“You've tarnished Apple's reputation,” Jobs told the team, according to Fortune's Adam Lashinsky. “You should hate each other for having let each other down ... Mossberg, our friend, is no longer writing good things about us.”
Jobs reportedly disbanded the original MobileMe team and appointed a new product head during the meeting.
As for current MobileMe subscribers, the news isn't all that bad. You will get a full year of MobileMe services for free and will be able to keep your same email address when you move to the free iCloud service, which will launch this fall. Details on how the transition will occur have yet to be finalized, Apple said in an FAQ post.
In addition, if you have purchased a MobileMe account but have yet to use the activation code, you are eligible to receive a complete refund. Users can even receive a prorated refund if they activated the code within the last few months.
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Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.Edited by Jennifer Russell
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