Can Dropbox survive on its own?

Cloud Storage
By Chris Umiastowski on 9 Jun 2014 07:02 am
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Last week Apple's WWDC keynote came along with some cool new iCloud features. People have been wanting Apple's cloud storage service to enable better file management for a while, and the Cupertino giant finally delivered. Not only did they announce iCloud Drive, but they are using iCloud for a slew of new features on iOS and Mac OSX.

Importantly, iCloud is really quite cheap to use. It costs just $3.99 per month for 200 GB of storage while Dropbox charges $19.99 per month for the same amount. It's clear that Dropbox is far more advanced when it comes to sharing capabilities, and I'd also agree with the argument that most people who are currently using Dropbox are not going to ditch them just because Apple is cheaper, even if the feature set was at parity.

But in the long term, I think it matters a lot that Apple and Google and Amazon sell cloud storage much cheaper than Dropbox. While most of us geeks totally get the value of the cloud, the majority of people still don't make much use of these services. And business users are only beginning to migrate to the cloud too.

So while it would be a pain in the ass for me to migrate from Dropbox, which I think is awesome, to any other service, the majority of the planet does not have any kind of real experience using any cloud service. And they'll have no incentive to use Dropbox when it costs several times more than the competition.

It's widely known that Steve Jobs once said Dropbox is not a product … it's a feature. I have to wonder exactly what Dropbox can in the long term to prevent from becoming a commodity feature. It's not clear to me that they can, and I imagine the most likely path forward is for them to get acquired by a larger company that wants to speed up its entrance into enterprise cloud services.

Dropbox is amazing. Mobile Nations loves the service. But I just don't think it makes sense, long term, for them to remain independent.

Comments? Thoughts? I'd love to discuss it with you below.

Related: Dropbox Editorial

8 comments

Solamar

I agree.. Cloud space pricing is likely to become for some.. like Google and Amazon, a lost-leader, where they'd rather lose a little to keep or attract customers for other products or services.. Apple's ecosystem encourages using iCloud first.. Certainly someone like me, who has a Mac, iPad, and iPhone will look very hard at Apple's iCloud Drive offerings.. I will likely drop, cough, dropbox completely.

I might keep it as a backup for a small period.. make sure I like the new iCloud.. but I don't want multiple Cloud services.. multiple means multiple things syncing and that means drain on battery. There can be only one! :D

I don't think there will be much money in it for them long term.. either they grow and gain money else where by providing additional, unique services, or get bought out. Status Quo isn't going to work for them any longer..

vpblaze

The biggest thing I find important about Dropbox is that it truly is cross platform! I can access it on all my devices. I am going off of the 50GB free for two years promotion right now, we will see if I am willing to shell out any money after that though...

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MazoMark

Reasons I will remain with Dropbox:
1. They are experienced in delivering excellent cloud based services. In comparison, Apple has never delivered a solid cloud product.
2. Dropbox performance is faster than any competitor in every test I've seen. OneDrive, GoogleDrive, etc all are slower.
3. True cross platform. No matter what platform I'm on, I can use Dropbox
4. I've got years of experience in which Dropbox has not let me down.

Yes they are more expensive, but in my experience, Dropbox is worth it.

KermEd

I'm definitely sticking with dropbox.

http://www.filearchivehaven.com/2014/04/27/dear-skydrive-sorry-onedrive-...

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pgg101

Dropbox or Onedrive

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williamsbh76

The problem with Dropbox now becomes cost versus features. I think they have been working wisely all these years to integrate with other apps but now Google Drive and iCloud integrating automatically with their respective OS's and offering comparable services in most areas, Dropbox's selling feature is going to be its more advanced features that I'm afraid many people will not ever use or see value in, especially at the premium price point they are going for.

DWR_31

Cross platform is truly the only thing keeping Dropbox alive.

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itzJustMeh

I think some of you are forgetting one thing. Some of us don't own a single Apple device, and don't exactly like their services.