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Apple iCloud pricing starts at $20 a year

Apple's iCloud website is in test mode right now for software developers.
Apple's iCloud website is in test mode right now for software developers.

Apple has launched a beta version of its iCloud website for developers, and announced pricing for those who want to store more than 5 gigabytes of data. For those who use up to that amount, the service — expected to launch for real in September — is free.

If you want more than 5 GB, this is what it will cost:

  • 10 GB for $20 a year
  • 20 GB for $40 a year
  • 50 GB for $100 a year

How do those prices compare to well-known current cloud services such as Drop Box and SugarSync?

Dropbox gives users up to 2 GB of storage for free; if you want 50 GB, it's $99 a year. SugarSync gives users up to 5 GB of storage at no cost; for 30 GB, it's $49.99; 60 GB, $99.99.

"It should be noted that Dropbox is the only truly cross-platform service," said 9 to5 Mac, which compared the services. "Dropbox provides a desktop client for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and utilizes a clever file handling mechanism which takes care of translating file and meta data differences among platforms."

For those who want to take a peek at what iCloud apps — including email, contacts and calendar and productivity suite iWork  — will look like, both 9 to 5 Mac and AppleInsider have published some screenshots.

The iCloud service will take the place of Apple's MobileMe, which will be shuttered at the end of next June. It has cost $99 a year for 20 GB of storage.

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