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Apple’s cloud services are hugely reliant on AWS

Written by Tue 23 Apr 2019

iPhone maker is spending more than $30 million a month for storage on AWS, according to CNBC

In the increasingly broad consumer electronics domain, Apple and Amazon are in fierce competition.

While Amazon still trails Apple in tablet sales, it leads the smart home market with its sell-out Alexa devices. In comparison, Apple is sluggish on the home device front with consumers largely unimpressed with the pricey HomePod and lacklustre intellect of Siri. When it comes to wearables Apple leads the charge, responsible for 46.2M of the total 172.2M devices shipped.

The two companies are also competing in AI and music streaming, and will soon be in online video as well.


But while these battles rage on, Apple is delivering $30 million a month into the coffers of AWS – Amazon’s Goliath public cloud platform – to support the operation of software services across its 1.5 billion active devices. The sum is a 10 percent increase compared to last year according to CNBC, that revealed the figures.

Apple’s new business strategy involves an increased emphasis on software services – such as iCloud, Apple Music, and a new news subscription service ‘News+’. Device users are also increasingly reliant on these cloud-based services for day-to-day smartphone usage.

Apple has not publicly stated that it relies on AWS for anything more than iCloud, but an annual outlay of $360 million suggests that the Apple machine increasingly revolves around an AWS core that is growing year-on-year. If Apple’s new news subscription service is a hit, one can only wonder how much this figure will rise in the coming years.

Apple will likely look to its own data centres to shoulder the burden, and its spending strategy suggests this is so. Apple announced in January that it will spend $10 billion on US data centres in the next five years, half of which will be spent this year, according to CNBC.

Apple also relies on Google Cloud and has previously used Microsoft Azure cloud tools, according to CNBC, and it has also struck deals with smaller third-party cloud providers.

Other companies reliant on AWS to operate their services are US taxi-app Lyft, that are committed to paying Amazon $300 million through 2021, and Pinterest, who will have dropped $750 million on AWS services by 2023.

Written by Tue 23 Apr 2019


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