Apple To Launch Cloud-Based Service For Digital Content

SAN FRANCISCO, June 6 (Kyodo) — Apple Inc. said Monday it will launch an online storage and syncing service this fall that will enable users to automatically share their digital content between personal computers, smartphones and other portable devices.

Apple is offering the free "iCloud" service through cloud computing, in which services are offered online. Its competition with companies offering similar products is likely to intensify. Google Inc. is ahead in cloud-based services, while Inc. has launched its online music distribution system.

Apple said user information will be shared between multiple devices including iPhone, iPad and Mac personal computers. If a user purchases digital music or books, or uploads photos and documents to the company's cloud server through one of the devices, the content will automatically be pushed to other devices.

Apple enabled the music portion of the new service Monday with 5 gigabytes of storage space.

"We are going to demote the PC to just be a device," Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, who is on medical leave, said Monday when he gave a keynote speech at a developers' conference. "We are going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud."