New York - Analysts made few negative comments about Apple's fall launch of the iOS 5 and integrated iCloud services.
The general consensus is the developments will make Apple devices "stickier" but pointedly noted that many iOS 5 features have already been available on other mobile devices.
One major difference separating iOS 5 from the pack is the ability of iOS 5 handheld devices to leverage Apple's planned iCloud Cloud-based services, which will wirelessly push newly created or downloaded content from one iOS-based mobile device to a user's other iOS devices and to their Macs and PCs. The content includes apps, pictures and videos as well as documents created in iWorks on Apple's mobile devices.
at Monday's Apple developers conference.
"iOS 5 makes the Apple ecosystem easier to use, increases the value -- and stickiness -- of sticking in the Apple ecosystem, and fixes many nagging issues that have haunted iPhone users for four years," said analyst Josh Martin of Strategy Analytics. "iCloud becomes the foundation of the iEcosystem today with sights on grander ambitions tomorrow."
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley used similar terms in contending that the "tight integration of Apple's MacOS, iOS and iCloud offerings creates an extremely sticky customer base." As a result,
we believe a growing and loyal user base will result in strong devices sales and earnings growth for the next several years."
For his part, The NPD Group's executive director Ross Rubin said Apple's announcements provide "a mix of short-term benefits and long-term potential." He said the announcements "close some feature gaps, launches a platform (iCloud) for potential new web applications, and reboots their cloud strategy." Adding the changes bring a new convenience level to keeping documents and media in sync among multiple devices and removes a potential barrier to buying an additional mobile device.
Canaccord's Walkley also lauded Apple's new syncing capabilities. The ability to automatically sync music, applications, photos, books, documents, and more across all MacOS and iOS products "should drive increased customer loyalty, resulting in recurring software and hardware purchases," he said. The developments "will make it much more difficult for competing ecosystems to compete long-term."
The enhanced data sharing and automatic sync capabilities across Apple products, he added, "will serve as a halo affect that will lead to increased Apple hardware sales and software and content purchases across the entire Apple device portfolio."