$20 bucks for starter iCloud access – sweet

Joining the ranks of SugarSync and Dropbox, Apple has priced its own cloud computing platform: the iCloud.

Currently, the iCloud is in beta for developers but Apple has confirmed pricing for those who need to store over 5 gigabytes of data.

Apple will charge $20 a year for 10 GB of storage, $40 a year for 20 GB, and $100 a year for 50 GB.

iCloud will replace Apple’s MobileMe offering, the $99 a year for 20 GB of storage package which is slated to be shut down by June.

Competitor Dropbox allows for 2 GB of free storage and offers 50 GB of storage for $99 a year. Sugarsync offers 5 GB free but charges $49.99 for 30 GB and $99.99 for 60 GB. Apple’s iCloud boasts 5GB of free storage.

Users who want to operate in the cloud can access Web apps for email, Calendar, and Contacts as well as purchase music, apps, iBooks, and photos within Apple’s platform.

The aforementioned photos, music, apps, and iBooks don’t count towards the free space limit, so users can store more data in the cloud without exceeding the 5 GB of free storage.

When comparing iCloud to other offerings, 9 to 5 Mac said, “It should be noted that Dropbox is the only truly cross-platform service. 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.”

A free version of iCloud for those of us who don’t require more than 5 GB of storage will be available in September.