Not to be outdone by other consumer tech companies that offer free online storage, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) now offers free cloud-based storage as well. The service is a means for Amazon and rivals to tether customers to their portable devices and computers. In a world in which apps and multimedia products are offered almost universally by companies from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) to Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), the Amazon Cloud Drive is a bare minimum product to engender customer loyalty.
The world’s largest e-commerce company offers a promotion for its base cloud product:
Amazon Cloud Drive is your place for everything digital. Cloud Drive offers free mobile apps, secure access from any computer, and it’s built in to your Amazon devices—so you can access your digital content everywhere you are.
The main reason many consumers want access to the cloud is to store files that might take up too much “room” on their portable devices. Amazon has decided to be agnostic about which operating systems it supports:
Get the free mobile app for iOS and Android to access all of your photos and videos, back up your photos on-the-go, and keep your photos safe, even if your device is lost, damaged, or upgraded. If you have a Fire phone, Cloud Drive is already built in.
The Fire smartphone is Amazon’s attempt to take market share from Apple and Samsung, which together dominate global industry market share. Cloud Drive favors Fire owners, another attempt to get consumers to prefer its product over ones like the iPhone:
All Amazon customers get 5 GB of free storage, and Fire phone owners get free, unlimited storage for all the photos taken with their Fire phone.
Additional space is available starting at less than $1 per month. Upgrade your plan anytime from your Amazon account settings.
But as free storage becomes a commodity among consumer electronics companies, Amazon probably will find Cloud Drive is not much of an advantage.
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