Apple Removes MobileMe

Apple removes MobileMe from online store and discontinues retail boxes.MobileMe is End of Life and Apple notified resellers that once their current inventory of boxed copies is depleted they won’t be able order any more……

MobileMe single license and family pack are no longer available on Apple’s online store. In addition, resellers have indicated to AppleInsider that both the MobileMe Single User product (identified as MC660Z/A) and Family Pack (MC661Z/A) have been declared “End of Life” by Apple.Apple notified resellers that it has discontinued the retail box version of MobileMe, shifting entirely to digital sales. Existing stocks of boxed MobileMe can continue to be sold while their supplies last.Users of MobileMe were also notified of scheduled maintenance for the website. The service’s Web-based applications may not be accessible to some users for about a half-hour tonight, after which normal service is expected to be restored.Since the boxed MobileMe products contain only an activation code and promotional materials, the offering of a physical MobileMe product has primarily been used to provide in-store visibility for the service.

The changes come as Apple is rumored to be revamping the MobileMe service and is also said to be considering making the product free. The New York Times reported this month that Apple plans to turn MobileMe into a free service that would serve as a digital locker where users could store photos, music and videos.Consequently, the discontinuation of boxed MobileMe products could be paving the way for a sell-off of existing stock and a brief period of digital-only sales before transitioning to a free service.Apple‘s North Carolina data center has been the subject of considerable speculation regarding potential cloud-based offerings. Apple acknowledged atshareholder meeting that the center is not yet open, but should be opening soon to support MobileMe and iTunes. Five times larger than Apple’s existing primary data center in Newark, California, the North Carolina center will offer significantly expanded infrastructure for the company.

Apple has been rumored to be pursuing a cloud-based iTunes service, particularly for music streaming, for years. The Times said that such a move would negate the need for a large amount of local storage on mobile devices like the iPhone.Apple also appears to have entirely removed MobileMe from its online store, both as a standalone product and as bundled with new Macs. Apple had previously offered a $30 discount on MobileMe when purchased with a new Mac, but that offer is no longer available.Apple continues to offer a 60-day free trial of MobileMe, but given that it has just become substantially more difficult to actually purchase MobileMe directly from Apple, it appears that Apple may indeed be shifting it to a free service sometime within the next two months.Apple executives revealed at the company’s annual shareholder meeting that its massive $1 billion data center in North Carolina is set to open this spring. The usually tight-lipped company also let slip that the data center will be used to support iTunes and MobileMe.


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