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Apple emerges as Google Cloud Platform user – report

Report suggests Apple has joined Spotify in signing up to use Google’s cloud infrastructure services

Google is reported to have secured Apple as another high-profile user of its cloud infrastructure services platform, in a deal said to be worth between $400m and $600m.

The news was broken by US-based channel news site, citing sources with knowledge of the deal, which is said to have been brokered in late 2015.

It is also claimed that Apple’s decision to use the Google Cloud Platform will pave the way for it to wind down its use of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

But in a statement to Computer Weekly, an AWS spokesperson appeared to pour scorn on this claim.

“It’s kind of a puzzler to us, because vendors who understand doing business with enterprises respect NDAs with their customers and don’t imply competitive defection where it doesn’t exist,” the statement read.

Computer Weekly also contacted Google and Apple to comment on the story, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

During a conference call to discuss Apple’s first-quarter financial results in January 2016, transcribed by Seeking Alpha, company CFO Luca Maestri name-checked datacentres as a significant source of capital expense for the firm, which may go some way to explain why it is looking to do more in the cloud.

“Datacentres is a growing expenditure for us, because, as we mentioned in our prepared remarks, our installed base of customers and devices is growing, and is growing very significantly,” said Maestri.

“And the datacentre capacity that we put in place is to provide the services that are tied to the installed base.” 

Read more about the Google Cloud Platform

It is not known exactly how much of Apple’s operations are run in the cloud, although the CRN article cites reports suggesting it has run portions of its business in both AWS and Microsoft Azure since at least 2011.

The news follows the announcement in February 2016 that music-streaming service Spotify is shifting its IT infrastructure to the Google Cloud Platform while continuing to work with AWS.

Google is regularly name-checked as one of the top three cloud infrastructure service providers, trailing behind the likes of Microsoft and AWS, which is widely considered to be the market leader.

As with AWS, the hardware used to underpin the Google cloud is built in-house, which the company claims allows it to keep the costs of its services down, while providing users with an extra layer of security.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)