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Hal Licino

A Christmas Marketing Fable: The Disappearing iCloud Email

Jun 27 2011, 06:07 PM by

Mr. Malus Fanaticus has spent the entire holiday season enjoying the amazing features of the iCloud. He's been using it since the launch three months back and is continually astounded at the seamless way he can access his entire Neapolitan Folk Song collection from his Mac at home, his iPad in the car and his iPhone wherever he is. In fact, he's been enjoying endless reprises of the great immortal songs about family feud shootouts; mothers crying; unrequited passion; forced emigration; and at the end everything being made better with sun and pizza... that it's almost New Year's Eve and he's just noticed that he hasn't received a single email on his @me.com or @mac.com account throughout the entire holiday season.

At first he figured that since it was the holidays everyone was away and couldn't be bothered to email him but he just got a call from his very peeved kid sister who has sent him an email every day since Christmas because the George jeans he bought her don't fit and she needs the receipt to return them to Walmart. He started testing his @me.com and @mac.com accounts by sending from gmail, but not a single test email arrived! So Malus started looking into the matter by going on some Apple forums and the truth was soon revealed: The iCloud has a 5GB storage maximum and since his Neapolitan collection had to be entirely uploaded - as it's not on Apple's list, plus his iDevices are automatically backed up every day - he hit his data limit two weeks ago. In that time any incoming @me.com or @mac.com email will not make it into the inbox.

To be fair Malus did receive an iCloud notification that once his storage is full, iOS devices will no longer back up or save data to iCloud and mail sent to @me.com or @mac.com email addresses will get bounced, but the holidays have been so hectic he really didn't pay any attention. That was really too bad since he never got that December 15th email from the CEO of MegahumongoCorp stating that their Senior Vice President had just quit and if Malus could get on their corporate jet to spend the holidays with him at the company’s Tahiti beach resort he'd land that SVP job that came with the million dollar salary, chauffeured Maybach and black corporate American Express Card.

How was Malus really supposed to know that Apple would send back a measly 15 KB of email that could have changed his life forever? Why would Apple make the arbitrary determination that any one of 23 versions of Funiculi Funicula were more important than the CEO’s incoming job offer email? Apparently the 5GB data limit does not discern CEO email from tenor warblings. A byte is a byte is a byte and when you hit the Great Cupertino Wall, that’s as far as you go. You can buy more storage space in the iCloud but Malus missed that in the small print.

Malus’ gmail account has 7.6GB storage and that’s just for email and attachments. Malus might have figured that the iCloud would have had a higher limit, or at least not lumped in email with his song collection, or whatever else he might have thought or not thought, and unfortunately he’d be wrong. We can laugh at poor Malus’s predicament but email marketers certainly won’t be doing much of the laughing when they start finding that a disproportionate number of the @me.com and @mac.com addresses on their lists start bouncing back because their subscribers have filled up their iCloud quota.

However, what Malus doesn't know won't hurt him, so he has the satisfaction that at least he was able to enjoy Christmas in his leaky, chilly, drafty studio apartment listening to iClouded Neapolitan Folk Songs while his 1977 Chevette rusted away on the street under a snowdrift. Merry Christmas, Malus, and Happy Apple Year, as the iCloud streams down a reminder to make sure to pay for extra GB through O Sole Mio.

Posted in Tips & Resources

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