back to article MobileMe packages disappear from Apple's shelves

Apple's MobileMe service is running fine, but the $99 annual package has disappeared from both virtual and physical shelves in what some reckon is a prelude to the service going free. The package disappeared from the online store, and Apple Insider has apparently been taking to Apple retailers who report that both the single …


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  1. danny_0x98

    Nah, Not Free

    Subscription, renewed as in-app purchase.

    Just a quick thought as a Mobile-me subscriber. I know I could take care of synchronization, remote desktop access and email/web storage by assembling the best of the many fine and free alternatives out there. (For awhile, Find my iPhone was made available only to MobileMe subscribers, and that was a useful feature. Happily, it is now available, at no charge, to owners of other Apple devices.)

    I thought under $9 a month was a reasonable price to pay to have it all integrated and managed through the System Preferences.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love...

    ...where you're going with these statements ... "We obviously asked Apple, and they obviously declined to acknowledge our existence, so we'll just have to wait and see."

    I look forward to more colourful varieties in the future.

  3. SG679

    Renew is still available

    My sub expires in 20days - while mobileme has disappeared from the Apple store you can still select the 'Renew' option under your account settings and it still states its £59pa. Fingers crossed its goes free

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "Just don't **** it up"

    I've been happily using mobile me for nearly 18 months now (yeah, i know, I could get the same thing from half a dozen other companies for free with a fair bit of pissing about, but for the price it's not even worth considering the free options. And I use it with google apps.)

    My big concern: if they make it free, they'd drop things like the web hosting.

    On the other hand, if the current stuff stays and it becomes free, brilliant.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why pay?

    Why do people pay for MobileMe? Well, one of the many reasons is that they don't have all their personal e-mails data-mined and another is that they don't get exposed to ads every fucking second of their lives.

    1. Jim Coleman


      I get all the MobileMe-equivalent services for free from one place - Windows Live. Calendar, email, contacts, skydrive, Find My Phone....all that stuff. I'm sure Apple's service is, erm, shiny or something though, for $99.

    2. thesykes

      Re: Why pay?

      What ads? Just logged onto my gmail account, no spam, no advert emails, in fact, I had to look all over for the advert, there is one, a single line of text, no pictures, no flash, no gif's, just text. one line of it.

      of course, you have seen all the ads, haven't you, being a google customer? you have, haven't you?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err, what?

      Oh, well done. You thus blithely assume Apple does NOT scan anything passing through their servers.. As for anything Apple provided, you will have to accept that you're paying 30% more for everything because Apple wants a take of that too, not just of its overpriced hardware..

      I like Apple kit, but that doesn't turn me into fanboy - and neither has it rendered me naïve..

      1. Michael C
        Thumb Down


        No, I don't need to assume, they have a nondisclosure in place in the EULA. They do not trade or sell this data to anyone. They further restrict their providers, even those who advertise in iAds, to have equally strict rules for handling customer data. In no way does Apple use tracking cookies, scanned messages, or anything else to target you with ads, or allow their partners access to that data ever.

        Apple wants 30% from devs and is getting stricter with it because people MAKING MONEY off apple, through apple's systems, and backed by apple support, should have to pay. A free app with a $100/year external subscription that apple never sees a penny of is simply dumb, no company would make that deal for a $99 once annual fee to submit an unlimited number of apps. They're not evil, they're a BUSINESS.

        As for apple hardware, you pay a small premium, true, in some product classes (in others, Apple is actually cheaper, like the 27" iMac and the mac pro, and the MBA line). That said, the TCO of apple is easily understood to be cheaper. Lower maintenance costs, lower license fees, less to license, cheap upgrades, and VERY high resale value. Most people get this, only trolls can't see it. Purchase price is ONE PIECE of ownership cost. If you choose what to buy based on retail price (which no one need pay), and never look beyond that, you;re a moron, and I applaud you being seperated from your money. I'll keep buying that "expensive" apple hardware, and when keep selling my used kist for $500-900, and use that towards the new machine, making my better equipped machines cost less than yours, I'll be laughing all day.

        1. EyeCU

          Michael C - Paid shill

          Or brainwashed idiot blindly following 'The One True Way(TM)'

          Vote up or down - You decide!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fingers and toes crossed

    I like Mobile Me and its nice integration with all things Apple. I would also like it to be free 8-).

    As to the why, well a lot of the mail/PIM side can be achieved with gmail for free and Google gets to suck you into its ecosystem* (apps and so on) and milk you for advertising revenue. Apple misses a trick or two there.

    I do hope Mobile Me remains add free though.

    *Apologies for using the E word.

  7. Steven Knox


    "It seemed impossible that Apple customers would pay for such things.."

    Said someone apparently unfamiliar with the psychology of the average Apple customer.

    1. Michael C

      not psychology

      it's that apple consumers understand 2 things:

      - its about TCO, not purchase price

      - good support is worth what small difference there might be.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Sob! BooHoo

    I've just paid my MobileMe subscription (Boohoo)

    On the other hand having tried quite a few alternatives both free and paid for Mobile Me is the one I prefer.

    Syncing across devices really does make things a lot easier for me (I'm lazy).

    I hope if MobileMe goes free it still maintains a high level of satisfaction (Apple: no compromises please)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My annual payment was taken last week.

    1. Michael C

      no worries

      because it;s a subscription service, if they lower the price or radically change the service, you will be automatically refunded. They've done that once before already (not to mention they have to by law, not that anyone forced them to).

  10. Steve Powell 1

    Renewed mine last week :-(

    It just works, and even my wife is sold on the idea she can work on stuff at home and just pick it up at work via iDisk.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I wish iDisk played nice with our corporate firewall. For reasons that no one is entirely sure of, sometimes iDisk just doesn't work.

      But Dropbox does. And it's faster.

  11. Stephane Mabille

    Apple / Free ????

    Euh... those two in the same sentence? That's from the company that charge for a 802.11n firmware update!

    So probably moving from $149 subscription to $0.99 per transaction application charge

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It was free

      The original service that morphed into MobileMe *was* free to begin with (over 10 years ago I think - don't recall when it started). I had years of free use (it goes back a long way). When it became a paid service, Apple initially gave away some stuff as a sweetener for those who stuck with it.

      It's been worth the money. Many other 'free' services have come and gone (often with advertising slipped in somewhere), but has been reliable, consistent, and maintained my privacy. It would have cost me more if I'd spent time researching and testing 'free' alternatives (to discover the downside) or moving stuff around as services come and go (or become intolerable).

      It's naive to think that companies will give something away without expecting a return somewhere. It might be tied to advertising, mining your messages/contacts, or tracking your preferences and location. It might be a loss leader with a view to charging once users are hooked in. Or it might be foundational to a wider, profitable ecosystem. But no business can afford to run at a loss indefinitely, and I'm more concerned about services that don't reveal the real source of income.

    2. Michael C

      lack of understanding

      That's about finance law, not apple choice.

      Same reason the iTouches had a fee to update and iPhones didn't.

      that law has since changed, but while in effect, Apple was REQUIRED to charge a fee for enabling services post-sale.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It would make sense to have a free (limited storage/limited traffic for website) option and a pay premium - it would lock a few more people into the Apple universe a bit more tightly. Frankly, it looks awful expensive compared to Google Apps for Domains at $50 per user which offers a lot more.

    The only thing MobileMe offers that I've not found anywhere else is (reliable?) address book synchronisation. Any attempts to enable this on Gmail across an iPhone and a Mac or two resulted in masses duplicate entries within a day or so.

    1. Bill Fresher

      Free service

      Will they call it iTools?

  13. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Just curious,

    What's the track record of Apple or others on handling payment from customers for a service or product that then is issued for free?

    Buying the reassuringly expensive rubber band to fit around your iPhone 4 lest you touch the hem of its garment and virtue departeth from it (or radio reception does), cometh to mind as an example, and not an excellent one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They've been good in the past

      I've had the occasional freebie or webstore credit from Apple for when things have either been made free or there's been a price drop. My subscription only just renewed so I will be a bit irked if they don't either give me something over the free version or some money back.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lazy people

    Why do all these lazy apple types get paid so much more than us people who can be bothered to work out how to use things?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Don't look behind you

    Most plans are terminating infinite monthly data options-- so suddenly that free cloud is costing a lot unless you leech someone else's bandwidth.

    Now you see the hook, and the providers are loving it; last time I looked, it wasn't an option to leave off the data plan and run only WiFi for data. That empty husk on the floor is your wallet...

  16. Kimberly Burgess

    Renew Still Exists

    I let my account expire after baring using it during its first year (grabbed it when I bought the 3g model). Just checked and they want $109 to reactivate it (99 plus tax). Waiting to see what they do next.

  17. Michael C

    What I'm hoping for

    iDisk goes free for up to 10GB.

    Find My Phone is already free

    back-to-my-mac goes free

    Photo, video, iWeb, etc go free (up to the same 10GB)

    e-mail goes free

    Additional users, $20/year, 10GB each

    more disk space @ reasonable prices.

    monthly access, not annual

    online backup for $5/month, unlimited online storage (PLEASE!?!?!?!)

    Existing subscribers keep the space they have now, without paying more, (as a thank you for paying for it all those years), and get refunded their prorated account balance.


    - music sharing service (your tunes in the cloud, video too).

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