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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple has signed a deal with Google that will see the Google Cloud Platform providing some of the cloud infrastructure for iCloud and other cloud-based Apple services, reports CRN (via Business Insider). Apple reportedly established a $400 to $600 million deal with Google last last year and has, as a result, "significantly" cut down on its reliance on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

According to the sources, Google executives have told partners that Apple is spending between $400 million and $600 million on Google Cloud Platform, although this couldn't be independently confirmed. Also unclear is whether this range refers to an annual spending rate or a set amount of capacity.
While the money Apple is now paying Google was previously spent on AWS, Apple has not stopped using Amazon's cloud computing services entirely. Apple has never confirmed the cloud services that power iCloud, but past rumors have pointed towards AWS and Microsoft Azure, suggesting Apple will continue using multiple services to meet its needs.

According to The Information's Amir Efrati, who has confirmed Apple's plans, it will take a year for Apple to transition to using Google Cloud Platform.
It's true, @iCloud to be partially powered by @googlecloud. But will take a year & unlikely to be profitable. @awscloud lost $ from iCloud. - Amir Efrati (@amir) March 16, 2016
Since last year, Google has been aggressively pursuing deals for its Google Cloud Platform, led by former VMware CEO Diane Greene. Google and Amazon have been involved in ongoing pricing wars, but Google claims to be the "price/performance leader" in public cloud and says its Google Cloud Platform is between 15 and 41 percent less expensive than AWS.

In the future, Apple may scale back on the money it spends on third-party cloud computing platforms, based on its data center plans. Apple is building new data centers in Ireland, Denmark, Reno, and Arizona, plus it is expanding its existing data center in Prineville, Oregon.

In Arizona, Apple's data center will be located at the former GT Advanced sapphire plant and has been described as a "command center" for Apple's global data network. Apple says the Arizona location is "one of the largest investments" the company has made.

Article Link: Apple Inks Deal to Use Google Cloud Platform for Some iCloud Services


macrumors 68040
Jan 5, 2012
I thought they had a whole bunch of server farms for this kind of thing? How many could they possibly need? Are these mostly in foreign countries?

Isn't Google Cloud the software side of things and users can provide their own servers? In this case Apple has a huge number of sever farms.

My guess could be wrong, of course.


macrumors 603
article said:
Apple says the Arizona location is "one of the largest investments" the company has made.
Considering the sapphire loss and the new capital expense of the server farm, the global management staff and the depreciation expense on the prior capital expense that was abandoned. I guess, yes. The building and land isn't that big.

Apple rents everything in Cupertino and a bunch of stuff in Palo Alto and San Jose. I don't doubt they rent a significant portion of worldwide server time as well. They have data hog apps.

They probably should buy a few things and stop paying rent.

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macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2014
I thought they had a whole bunch of server farms for this kind of thing? How many could they possibly need? Are these mostly in foreign countries?
You can never have enough data servers. You can only have a shortage. And yes, a lot of them are overseas, purely for the convenience (lower latency and faster access speeds) to the end user. You'll most likely have a couple of them per continent, however your data will never be stored overseas (so if you're an European person your data won't get uploaded to the US cloud, presumably).


macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2014
I appreciate that Apple is writing their services in a way that they can be deployed to any data center, not just custom-built ones of their own. It greatly reduces the risk of any single center going off-line.
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macrumors 6502
Oct 21, 2014
Hence all these companies needed to side with Apple against the FBI, since Apple may be using their servers (although I suspect they'd ~agree with Apple's stance anyway).


macrumors 65816
I'm not sure I trust having my data go to Google any more than I would to the FBI...What guarantees would we have that Google is respecting the privacy of the data on iCloud?

The Guardian said:
While email scanning has taken the headlines recently, leading from the revelations that Google considers that users have no “reasonable expectation” of privacy.

“The really dangerous things that Google is doing are things like the information held in Analytics, cookies in advertising and the profiling that it is able to do on individual accounts,” said Killock.

"It is the amount of information they hold on individuals that should be concerning us, both because that is attractive to government but also sometimes that information leaks out in various ways like the NSA’s use of cookies in general as a means to target users," Killock explained.


macrumors 6502
Jun 6, 2012
So if the tweet is accurate, Google won the right to lose money on Apple's iCloud business away from Amazon? Or possibly they're efficient enough to actually make money on it.


macrumors 68040
Mar 16, 2016
Wild West
Given Apple's view on privacy I hope they roll out their data centers sooner rather than later.

Do you think Apple server farms are more secure than Google server farms? With Google, at least we know that they design their own servers for their farms (and they use their own versions of server software when appropriate). Apple is not known for designing/manufacturing any of those things.
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