Subscriptions to free or paid cloud services across the world to jump to 625 million next year and expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2017, according to a new report.
IHS’ iSuppli Mobile & Wireless Communications Service insight revealed that the number of personal subscriptions to online storage services reached 375 million by the end of June 2012 (H1 2012), with projections to reach 500 million by the end of 2012 and 625 million in 2013.
IHS consumer and communications director Jagdish Rebello said the cloud is a game changer in an age of near-ubiquitous mobile broadband, offering benefits to consumers and cloud service providers alike.
"For consumers, cloud services are intended to manage and store user-generated data or purchased content, such as music, ebooks, pictures or videos," Rebello said.
"The content can then be seamlessly accessed and synced across devices like smartphones, media tablets and PCs. Meanwhile, technology companies are looking at the cloud as a way to generate revenue."
Technology firms including Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have been using their personal cloud provisions to sell hardware, content and other cloud storage services.
In a bid to compete with technology giants, pure-play cloud providers have been taking up a freemium model in which they add free storage of 2 to 5GB, followed by layered pricing plans for high storage levels.
IHS considers that cloud industry is expected to continually lose money from pure cloud offerings while independent cloud service providers are anticipated to face difficulties to stay financially viable.