This is total speculation, but I believe it would be very possible for Apple to enter the cloud computing space. A recent article in the Charolette Observer (found via a mac rumors artile) is claiming they are offering Apple a huge tax break to set up a billion dollar server farm in North Carolina.
Apple has an interesting competitive advantage here. They have loads of cash in reserve ($29 billion) and manufacture hardware, OS and software. They have already proven their ability to scale services (iTunes). I would find it ridiculous if Apple has not at least talked about it internally. Analysts are already touting cloud computing as the future of computing – and Apple is usually a leader in computing trends.
Now, here’s where I think things would get really interesting. Apple buys Adobe. Adobe has an incredible multi-platform strategy in its Flash and Open Screen projects. Apple has struggled with Web 2.0 deployments (MobileMe leverages AJAX and is still not even close to being good software). Apple really needs to get its web software strategy in gear, and QUICK. So Apple buys Adobe – decides to fully support the Flash Player in the iPhone, MobileMe, and they create great SaaS server management tools; all leveraging Flash. Apple would also pick up the awesome Creative Suite products, PDF, Livecycle, etc.
Think about how powerful this could be
Apple OS Web Servers
“Apple Quality” Management Software
Adobe Flash Client
I realize that there could be a slight culture clash between Adobe and Apple; you should never under-estimate how hard it is to integrate teams. But if they could all get on the same page, Apple + Adobe could revolutionize they way we think about software in the cloud and pose a real threat to what Microsoft is doing with Azure + Silverlight.