back to article Whose cloud is it anyway? Apple sinks $30m a month into rival Amazon's AWS – report

Apple has been identified as one of the largest customers of Amazon Web Services, splashing tens of millions of dollars each month on public cloud infrastructure supplied by its rival. Amazon competes with Apple in the mobile device market with its Kindle Fire tablets, and in voice-activated personal assistants with Alexa. …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's a reduction in real terms

  2. TonyJ

    Hmm... many seconds/minutes of global revenue is that?

    I'd think that it makes sense to leverage something like AWS rather than pay vast amounts to build and run your own infrastructure in this particular case.

    Like everything else in IT - "cloud" isn't a panacea but there are use cases where it makes sense if done properly.

    1. JimBob01

      Re: Hmm...

      "I'd think that it makes sense to leverage something like AWS rather than pay vast amounts to build and run your own infrastructure in this particular case.”

      I would say that, in this case, the opposite is true. $300m+ a year can buy you an awful lot of your own infrastructure. Cloud services do not make a loss so, with a bill that big, significant savings are probably available from going in-house.

      …And allows you to avoid using your competitors’ platforms too - avoiding a potentially major risk.

      However, when rolling out new services, the great elasticity of current cloud providers can help you quickly produce a fast scaling application and, if the need arises, assess what sized datacentres you would need if you considered bringing your apps in-house in the future.

      1. BebopWeBop

        Re: Hmm...

        They have a history of working out what they need to build and doing so - switching when their service is stable

        1. trevorde Silver badge

          Re: Hmm...

          yeah, like Apple Maps

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Hmm...

      With last year's revenue coming to $265.6 billion, it comes to about 01:09:16 of the revenue each month. Then again, this shows more about Apple's scale than it does for the cost of AWS or other cloud services. For the real numbers, we should track down statistics on how much they pay for Google Cloud and how much they paid up front and pay on an ongoing basis for their many datacenters, as they do have quite a bit running in house.

  3. dave 93

    Netflix runs on AWS

    Apple is the largest 'publicly announced' customer...

    1. devjoe

      Re: Netflix runs on AWS

      Yes and no.

      Everything in Netflix - with the exception of the content - runs on AWS.

      So yes, everything except 99.999% of the workload of Netflix is on AWS :)

      1. rob 47

        Re: Netflix runs on AWS


        1. Dal90

          Re: Netflix runs on AWS

          > Everything that happens before they hit play takes place in AWS, but the video content that follows >comes from a separate system: Netflix OpenConnect, the company's proprietary content delivery >network (CDN)

          What he said.

  4. IGnatius T Foobar !

    It's a shame they can't all lose.

    Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google ... all of them are now behemoths that are too big. Remember the good old days when we were only concerned about Microsoft? Now there are half a dozen of them and they want to control EVERYTHING, not just technology.

  5. Vulture@C64

    Says more about AWS capability I think. AWS is massive, has a genuinely global reach, is more reliable than Azure and is fast. Just what Apple needs to cope with global devices.

  6. philyboy1


    Apple used to use Akamai for CDN as well until they built out their own CDN. As others pointed out sometimes make sense to use others services while perfecting your own or stop gap. Also $30m does not seem that much given the scale of devices and data around the world.

  7. ReadyKilowatt

    If Cook had any creativity he’d “one more thing” the iCloud home server. iOS, lots of hard drive space, behind a firewall/proxy for sharing content. Charge a grand for the thing and keep the monthly fees. Get the customers to pay for your infrastructure.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      I'd buy it.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's really not that much to spend

    For a company of Apple's size, and as noted they have their own cloud and use Google's cloud, and are also known to use Microsoft's cloud. IMHO it makes sense to own only your baseline capacity, and rely on others for peaks like when the new iPhone is announced and Apple's servers are slammed, or over Christmas when the App Store is slammed. Why spend billions building out capacity that will be idle most of the time? Probably Apple's needs are growing ahead their construction, so they aren't even at a place where they can service their baseline yet, hence the billions in ongoing investment.

    It probably is also a good idea to replicate critical data across more than one cloud - i.e. have it your own cloud but also in someone else's so if your cloud goes down it doesn't take that critical thing with it. I don't know whether or not they do this, but it seems like it would make sense because as the occasional outages that have affected Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple's clouds demonstrate, no matter how reliable you think your stuff is, there is always something you overlooked or some type of human error you weren't prepared for.

  9. MotionCompensation

    Not enough to build one website

    That’s not enough money to build even one functioning website, if you decide to have Accenture build it, according to sources at Hertz.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Not enough to build one website

      a MONTH.

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