A little birdie says that about 50 percent of Apple Store customers who need to get their iPhones swapped have never plugged them into iTunes after the initial activation and sync. This is a big reason, according to this birdie, for why Apple Store Geniuses are excited about iCloud.
Backupophobes can get away with never touching iTunes after activating an iOS device. But folks obviously need to plug them into some kind of power source to recharge which, combined with a reachable WiFi network, is what triggers iCloud’s automatic backup feature. Sure, these customers can manually reinstall apps one by one from the store, but they have no way to recover any of their data or media purchased on the device. That holds true for contacts, too, if users didn’t sign up for MobileMe or even Google’s free (and, in my experience, terrible) contact sync.
I’m surprised to hear this number pegged so low at 50 percent (I assumed more users plugged into iTunes at least infrequently). If true though, I find it interesting that it is still much lower than just about any statistic you will hear about how many traditional computers users backup. People have been asking Apple to cut iOS’ umbilical cord for some time (and before the iPad), myself included. But I’m glad Apple waited until it had an automatic solution in place like iCloud.