A report by RBC Capital Markets projects that as much as 76 percent of iPhone users could sign up for Apple’s new iCloud service, which could lead to a user base of as many as 150 million users.

Cloud computing has been gathering momentum for some time, but when the iCloud was introduced by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month, it gained much broader recognition. The iCloud service will allow users to store, access and synch their iTunes content in Apple’s data warehouses.

The company also revealed details of an iMessage service, a feature of iOS5 which is billed as a direct competitor to Research in Motion’s popular Blackberry Messenger (BBM) service. iMessage allows cross-device instant messaging, via an iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and works over wireless services and Wi-Fi.

The RBC report, based on a survey of iPhone users polled between June 7 to 14, showed that 73 percent of respondents planned to use the iMessage service.

The iTunes Match service, which lets users store any music in the Apple cloud, also looks to be a popular item with 30 percent of those surveyed saying they’d likely use the service.

In the future, RBC said Apple is likely to add additional services through the iCloud, including audio and video streaming, document management and storage.




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