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Apple and Google to collaborate on new cloud services deal

18/03/2016 by Sharon Shahzad


It has been reported that Google and Apple are inking a deal that will see the latter firm utilising cloud services to help host its cloud computing endeavours. Initially, Google’s current cloud platform will help power Apple’s iCloud. However, with Amazon soon to open a number of new data centres, the latest agreement might just be a stepping stone to larger things, and could be a way to diversify its current suppliers list.

The largest player in the current cloud computing market is Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company’s clients include Apple, Pinterest, NASA, Netflix, the CIA and many others. However, Google has become an increasing competitor over the past few years, particularly as the firm expands the reach of its Google Cloud Platform service. Now, it seems as if Google might have poached one of AWS’s major clients, Apple.

In a deal that’s reported to be worth between $400 and $600 million, Google will soon host some of Apple’s iCloud offerings. This includes the company’s photo storage, backup services and email features. The agreement is actually believed to have been closed at the end of 2015, with Apple wanting to move away from its reliance on AWS, which, elsewhere, remains one of its main digital media competitors.

As reports flooded the news, both Google and Apple declined to comment, though it was confirmed by an Amazon spokesperson that the company had not lost Apple’s business: “It’s kind of a puzzler to us because vendors who understand doing business with enterprises respect [non-disclosure agreements] with their customers and don’t imply competitive defection where it doesn’t exist.”

However, there is the possibility that both Amazon and the unconfirmed reports of a new deal could be true. This is because the iCloud has never been wholly hosted on AWS as it used the Azure cloud platform from Microsoft too. It is, therefore, conceivable that Google’s Cloud Platform could also be utilised as a third vendor to support Apple’s services.

Even if Google has now become another cloud services provider for Apple, the deal might not last too long. This is because Apple has already announced that it is building three huge data centres that should open soon. Further facilities will follow. It means that using Google might simply be a stopgap to broaden its supplier base before moving the entire service onto a self-owned system.

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